Two rare white giraffes, a mother and her male calf, were killed by poachers in Kenya's Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy, the park's director said Tuesday.

Mohammed Ahmednoor said in a statement released on Twitter that the carcasses of the two animals had been discovered in a skeletal state, meaning that the crimes were committed some time ago.

The giraffe and its calf, which both are affected by a condition known as a leucism, were first discovered by the park in 2017.

“This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole. We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe. Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species and a wakeup call for continued support to conservation efforts,” Ahmedoor said.

“This is a long term loss given that genetics studies and research which were significant investment into the area by researchers, has now gone to the drain. Further to this, the white giraffe was a big boost to tourism in the area,” he added.

Only one known giraffe with the condition now remains, according to Ahmedoor.

Africa's nature conservation areas are often targeted by poachers due to the high international value of some parts harvested from the carcasses of rare and endangered animals.