A new study finds that certain dogs, just like certain humans, carry a gene mutation that causes albinism — a condition that results in little or no pigment in the eyes, skin and hair. The study by researchers at Michigan State University identifies the exact genetic mutation that leads to albinism in Doberman pinschers, a discovery that has eluded veterinarians and dog breeders until now. "What we found was a gene mutation that results in a missing protein necessary for cells to be pigmented," study co-author Paige Winkler, a doctoral student in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, said in a statement. Winkler said the gene mutation found in Doberman pinschers is responsible for a condition known as oculocutaneous albinism, which also affects humans.
South Africa suffered its first elephant poaching incident in 10 years this week at the country's largest game reserve, the South African National Parks (SANParks) said on Friday. An elephant bull was "purposefully shot for its tusks" by four suspected poachers at the Kruger National Park in the eastern Mpumalanga province, SANParks said in a statement. Elephant poaching has been a problem in the rest of Africa while poaching in South Africa has been largely confined to rhinos, with more than 1,000 rhinos killed for their horns last year. "If we compare the situation in Africa our concentration has been on rhinos.