A rare albino elephant has been discovered in Thailand.
The photo shows a baby drinking from a stream at Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi province with a herd of common Asian elephants.
Experts believe the animal is an albino because its trunk is pink from the sun and has very fair skin.
Albino elephants are usually pink and rarely completely white because they have little fur.
Their eyelashes and toenails are also whiter than normal elephants.
The find is of particular significance in Thailand, where the white elephants are revered as sacred.
According to ancient tradition, white elephants are gifted to the king and the current monarch of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej owns 10.
Although the find has caused excitement among park officials, there are concerns that it will become a target for po.ac.hers.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is expected to decide whether to capture the elephant or leave it in the park.
Chote Trachoo, the ministry’s permanent secretary, was quoted by Thai news website The Nation as saying it would be ‘an important decision’ they would have to make.
The exact number of white elephants in the world is not known but it is thought that there are thousands in Asia.
Albino African elephants are much less common than their Asian cousins.
When one was discovered in Botswana in 2007, experts said it was only the third they had heard of in southern Africa.
Albino elephants are considered a big prize for p.oa.chers because of their rarity and level of recognition in many Asian countries, including Laos and Myanmar.
White elephants are revered for being an important part of them in the stories of the Buddha’s birth.
Buddha’s mother dreamed that a white elephant presented her with a sacred lotus before she gave birth.
They are considered to bring good or bad omens to rulers, and a king who owns a white elephant is considered a just and righteous ruler.
However, the d.ea.th of an albino elephant can be seen as a sign of disaster.
They were traditionally given as gifts to friends and allies of the monarch, who must have been wealthy because of the level of care expected for sacred animals.