By Kristiana Hall
An extremely rare giraffe which appears to be turning into a TREE due to a rare condition has been caught on camera.
The giraffe, spotted isolated from the rest of its group from between bushes in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, has a more unusual neck than most as an ‘irritable skin condition’ has scattered bark-like lesions all over it.
Civil servant Helen Olive, from Oxfordshire, said the animal was suffering from papillomavirus, which can also cause warts in humans but is rarely seen in safari animals, and was not in pain.
Helen, a wildlife snapper for 15 years, said: “Initially I wasn’t sure what was wrong with the giraffe as it was standing behind bushes and trees, but then I realised the giraffe had what looked to be a virus.
“As the giraffe walked out into the open, I was able to get a couple of photos before it disappeared again.
“I had heard about this virus and the skin lesions it causes, but was still surprised on seeing it ‘in real life’.
“Wildlife, especially in the African bush, never ceases to amaze me; it can be a tough life in the wild.
“However, the giraffe appeared unfazed as it continued on its way, although I’m sure the lesions must be irritating.”