by Dana Dovey for Newsweek
Alba, the world’s only known albino orangutan, now has her own personal island sanctuary in Borneo to live out the rest of her days safely tucked away from the humans who may want to do her harm. Orangutans are endangered creatures, but Alba’s rare genetic disorder makes her truly a one-of-a-kind ape.
Alba, named after the Latin word for “white,” has albinism, a rare genetic condition that exists in many species and causes serious deficits in melanin, a pigment that gives hair, skin and eyes their colors. According to the National Institutes of Health, the condition is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the production of melanin, either slowing it down or stopping it completely.
Today, the white orangutan lives in captivity, but soon she will be moved to a man-made island so that she can live her life outside of captivity, but still safe from humans who may endanger her welfare.
This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Newsweek and can be read in its entirety here.