11 Stories

Human Albinos in Malawi Hunted Like 'Animals'

Increase in murders by 'hunters' seeking 'magical' body parts has made situation dire

(Newser) - There are more cases of albinism in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else on Earth, per the Washington Post , and in Malawi, a violent sidebar to this phenomenon has emerged over the past year and a half. People there with the hereditary condition —marked by a reduction or faulty distribution... More »

Burma Captures Rare White Elephant

She's the 9th in captivity in the country

(Newser) - Burma's forestry department has captured a rare white elephant in the jungles of the country's western Ayeyarwaddy region, an official said today. The 7-year-old female was captured Friday, six weeks after she was initially spotted in a reserve in Pathein township, forestry official Tun Tun Oo said. It'... More »

The Grisly 'Charms' That Spurred a Witch Doctor Ban

Tanzania's albinos are attacked for their body parts for black-magic potions

(Newser) - Being kidnapped and killed for body parts sounds like something out of a horror movie, but for Tanzania's albino population, it's a horror that's all too real. The country has issued a ban on witch doctors to try to stem such murders, which officials say are carried... More »

Rare White Whale Spotted Off Australia

Migaloo is migrating to warmer waters for breeding: researchers

(Newser) - A celebrity albino humpback whale has been spotted for the first time this year off the coast of Australia. The famous Migaloo—who, until 2011, was the only documented all-white whale in the world—has been seen making his way north past Sydney on the country's east coast over... More »

Scientists Unravel Mystery of Albino Gorilla

In a word: inbreeding

(Newser) - Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla who was also the star attraction at the Barcelona Zoo until his death in 2003, owed his white coloring to a genetic mutation—but that's not the whole story. The eye-catching primate was a result of inbreeding, say Spanish researchers, who sequenced his... More »

White Killer Whale Spotted

Orca, nicknamed 'Iceberg' spotted off Kamchatka

(Newser) - Nobody tell Ahab. Scientists have spotted what they believe is the first adult white killer whale ever off the coast of Kamchatka, the BBC reports. While white orcas aren't unheard of, all recorded sightings have been of young specimens. "This is the first time we've seen a... More »

Swaziland Tries to Protect Albinos From Witch Doctors

Police set up national registry in wake of girl's murder

(Newser) - Swaziland police will keep a registry of every albino in the country to help protect them from witch doctors who wish to use their body parts for rituals, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The move comes after the killing of an 11-year-old albino girl , which many fear is the first... More »

Albino Girl Beheaded in Witchcraft Murder

Body parts believed to be magical

(Newser) - An 11-year-old girl has become the latest albino to be killed, ostensibly in a ritual murder. Banele Nxumalo was shot and beheaded in Swaziland by a man who grabbed her in front of friends as she washed clothes at a river. Police believe she was murdered because albino body parts... More »

Tanzania Opens Trials in Killings of Albinos

Dozens arrested in 40 murders; body parts used for witchcraft

(Newser) - Tanzania is trying seven people for murdering albinos and selling their body parts for use in witchcraft, the BBC reports. Dozens have been arrested in some 40 murders over the past year and a half, but so far no one has been convicted. Witch doctors sell “albino potions” for... More »

Tanzanians Asked to Secretly Finger Albino-Murderers

(Newser) - The government of Tanzania is turning to a secret “referendum” to ferret out those behind a surge in killings that have left 45 albinos dead in the past 15 months, the BBC reports. Officials aim to collect, in writing, names of suspects. “When you invite people to accuse... More »

Murders Terrify Tanzanian Albinos

Killers sell body parts for use in witchcraft

(Newser) - Tanzanian Albinos are living in fear, "unsure of waking up in one piece," said one, as 30 have been killed this year for their body parts, the Guardian reports. Their pigment-free hair, skin, genitals, and extremities are used in witchcraft to bring enrichment, a “stupid belief,”... More »

11 Stories