Leucistic red duiker spotted in the Zambezi Delta

Posted by Zimasa Katamzi on 29 July 2021

Leucistic animals are not uncommon in the Zambezi River Delta in Mozambique, particularly leucistic reedbuck and oribi. The Zambeze Delta Conservation and Anti Poaching Facebook page posted photos of their most recent find – a leucistic Red Duiker.

Leucistic red duiker spotted in the Zambeze Delta

Very often this condition is mistaken for albinism, but they are two completely different things.

Albinism is a condition in which there is an absence of melanin, and vertebrates with this condition also have very pale eyes, and sometimes pink or red.

Unlike albinism, leucism is a partial loss of pigmentation which gives an animal white patches on its skin, feathers, and fur. This condition does not affect the animal’s eyes in any way possible.

Leucistic red duiker spotted in the Zambeze Delta

Leucism can affect any animal (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and many often assume that animals affected by this condition are of a different species or subspecies.

The majority of wild animals with this condition face health problems. In birds, this condition can result in issues with flight as feathers with little pigmentation are weak and brittle.

Leucistic red duiker spotted in the Zambeze Delta

All animals with leucism are vulnerable to their predators due to their inability to camouflage themselves or to blend in with a group of their species.

If you ever spot an animal with leucism out in the wild, consider yourself lucky because most of these animals do not make it to adulthood due to increased predation.

Pictures: Zambeze Delta Conservation and Anti Poaching

Also read 

Kudu with unusual white patches spotted in Kruger






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