Little elephant is pretty in pink! Rare calf with condition that causes loss of pigmentation is spotted in South African safari park

Elephant

They are known to appear in Disney movies, but this little ‘pink’ elephant is already the star of the show among her wild herd in South Africa.

The three-week-old calf was captured on camera playing in the grass surrounded by her family in MalaMala Game Reserve in Kruger National Park.

Her pink-shaded skin is in sharp contrast to the dark grey adults in the herd.

Safari ranger Tim Jansen van Vuuren, who pictured the calf, said the rare coloring is caused by leucism, a condition that causes a partial loss of pigmentation and which is different from albinism.

‘It is a genetic disorder that will affect them for life,’ he said, adding: ‘This is by far one of the most interesting things I have seen in the wild.

‘Things like this are not very well documented so it’s very interesting to witness as you won’t find things like this in books.’

A safari ranger has captured images of a rare 'pink' elephant calf (pictured). Tim Jansen van Vuuren said the young animal has leucism, a condition which causes a partial loss of pigmentation
A safari ranger has captured images of a rare ‘pink’ elephant calf (pictured). Tim Jansen van Vuuren said the young animal has leucism, a condition that causes a partial loss of pigmentation

Standing out: The three-week-old calf was captured on camera playing in the grass surrounded by her family in MalaMala Game Reserve in Kruger National Park
Standing out: The three-week-old calf was captured on camera playing in the grass surrounded by her family in MalaMala Game Reserve in Kruger National Park

Safari ranger Tim Jansen van Vuuren, who captured stunning pictures of the calf, said the rare colouring is caused by leucism, a condition which causes a partial loss of pigmentation and which is different to albinism
Safari ranger Tim Jansen van Vuuren, who captured stunning pictures of the calf, said the rare coloring is caused by leucism, a condition that causes a partial loss of pigmentation and which is different from albinism

Tim Jansen van Vuuren was leading a group through the MalaMala Game Reserve in Kruger National Park, South Africa, when he spotted the light tone of the young animal's skin
Tim Jansen van Vuuren was leading a group through the MalaMala Game Reserve in Kruger National Park, South Africa, when he spotted the light tone of the young animal’s skin

The tiny three-week-old animal was seen playing in the grass next to darker adult elephants in MalaMala Game Reserve in Kruger National Park

The tiny three-week-old animal was seen playing in the grass next to darker adult elephants in MalaMala Game Reserve in Kruger National Park

Tim Jansen van Vuuren said it was likely the young elephant had a genetic disorder. Leucistic elephants' pigmentation darkens as they grow older, only leaving pink behind their ears.
Tim Jansen van Vuuren said it was likely the young elephant had a genetic disorder. Leucistic elephants’ pigmentation darkens as they grow older, only leaving pink behind their ears.

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