Mysterious Giraffe Disease Has Scientists Baffled
It's unknown whether the condition, which causes bloody lesions, is contributing to the decline of the world's tallest mammals.
When Arthur Muneza was about to start his master's at Michigan State University in 2014, he faced a pivotal question: What did he want to study?
He considered many rock stars of the African animal kingdom: elephants, lions, even hyenas.
But then the biologist heard that few were studying the little-understood giraffe skin disease, and he knew he was onto something.
"We said, let's just go for it. Let's look at giraffe skin disease and see what we can get out of it," he says.
The mysterious condition, which is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, causes grayish, crusty lesions on giraffe necks and legs. It's unknown what, if any, environmental factors are to blame, or even if it's a compilation of several