Rare white giraffe calf spotted in Tanzania

Rare white giraffe calf spotted in Tanzania
PHOTO: I-Love-Africa's Facebook

A rare white giraffe calf has been spotted in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, Africa causing the Internet to go wild (pun intended).

Omo, named after a popular detergent by a local guide according to Wild Nature Institute's blog, has a genetic condition called leucism that results in a loss of pigmentation.

Online reports pointed out that the 15-month-old giraffe does not have albinism which is an absense of melanin that gives colour to skin, feathers, hair, eyes and so on.

Leucism makes the animal have white or patchy-coloured skin and in this instance, creates a gorgeous creature like Omo.

Omo who is leucistic, is the only white giraffe in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. But that abnormality makes it so special and beautiful.

Posted by I-Love-Africa on Monday, 25 January 2016

Wild Nature Institute said in their blog that they first spotted Omo over a year ago and are "lucky enough to resight her again this January, almost exactly one year later. We are thrilled that she is still alive and well".

Ecologist and founder of Wild Nature Institute, Derek Lee, said in a Huffington Post report that the first year "is the most dangerous time for a young giraffe due to lion, leopard and hyena preying on them".

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in a National Geographic report, "more than half of all giraffe calves die before they're six months old" due to predators so it's great that we have Omo alive today.

However, she may be a target for poachers especially since she's so beautiful.

Good thing the park she's in "has a sophisticated anti-poaching programme in place" to defend its wildlife, reported National Geographic, so we can only hope she remains safe.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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