TANZANIA TIMES
The Times of Tanzania

Two White: Another Cream Colored Buffalo Emerges in Tarangire, Researchers baffled

Tarangire is famous for larger than life elephants, but now the National Park seems to be getting new species of interest, White Cape Buffaloes.

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Less than a week after a strange white colored Buffalo got spotted in Tarangire, another cream-skinned Cape Buffalo has just appeared in the National Park, authorities have confirmed.

The appearance of the second white buffalo within the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem is baffling researchers and conservators alike, as this zoological phenomenon is reportedly the first of its kind.

White Cape Buffalo: Endemic to Tarangire? (Photo: Ignace John Gara)

The Tanzania National Parks’ Deputy Conservation Commissioner in-charge of Conservation and Business Development, Herman Batiho, is one of the people who spotted the other White Buffalo.

DCC Batiho was on official visit at Tarangire when he saw the other white buffalo, this one was slightly different from the first.

Essentially, Tanzania now has two white buffaloes; observers believe there could be more.

This time many feel the generalized claim of selected cases of ‘albinism’ may not apply either.

In fact, they reckon serious investigations need to be done.

From the white one to black ones and stripped ones: Zebras move into photo frame

The strange white buffaloes of Tarangire, could be the only ones in Africa at the moment.

Teams of researchers, wardens and members of the press are currently camping in Tarangire to trace and study the two strange animals that are not often roaming in the open.

Sailepu Meijo is a researcher who had spotted the first White Buffalo in Tarangire and took its pictures.

Meijo is the Lion Project Camp Assistant for the Arusha-based Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI).

“It happened by chance, my team was tracing lions in Tarangire and Voila! We saw the white buffalo, at first we were awed and shocked,” Meijo reveals.

According to the researcher, the strange White Cape buffalos love to frequent the Esilalei and Looboisoret plains in Northern parts of Tarangire National Park.

Rather ‘Two White’ washed

On his part, Ali Omari, the Tarangire National Park’s Conservation Ranger Grade I explains that, at this time of the year, water sources outside Tarangire dry up.

“It is only the rivers and swamps inside the National Park that still have water, therefore all species of wildlife that were roaming outside, return to Tarangire where they can be assured of plenty of water,” he said

It is thus during this time that all types of animals, including the reclusive ones, can easily be spotted in the National Park.

Could it be magic?

Maasai elders in areas surrounding Tarangire have explained the phenomenon behind the emergency of a white buffalo in the National Park, saying it has symbolic meaning.

“This is the first time a white buffalo appears in this area, but previously we had a white baboon and later, a white giraffe,” recalls David Laizer, a Laigwanan (Maasai Community elder).

There is also a pale white giraffe in Tarangire, as well as a white Baboon (File)

“The appearance of a white animal among the mostly black species brings tidings of peace and prosperity, as far as our cultural beliefs are concerned,” he explains. 

Related story: White Buffalo Makes Scene in Tarangire

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