While we got used to see different kind of wild animals showing off their atypical white skin color, it is impossible to not get blown away every single time when such a rare sight is on the radar. This time, a rare white giraffe was spotted in the wild.
The extremely unusual animal was spotted in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania by the ecologist Dr. Derek Lee, founder and scientist at the Wild Nature Institute. According to wildlife experts, the animal’s rare colour is actually a genetic condition called leucism. This rare condition results in the partial loss of color from an animal’s skin, hair, or scales, but not in other organs like the eyes, for instance. But, unlikely albinism, characterized by red or blue eyes and pure white skin, this giraffe is ‘pale.’
Omo, how Dr. Lee named her, was spotted with her herd, who doesn’t seemed bothered by her unusual looking. It’s is known that in situations like this the herd tend to exclude the different looking individuals. However, her unique color make her extremely vulnerable to predators.
“Omo is the only pale giraffe we are currently aware of, but we have also observed leucistic waterbuck, cape buffalo and ostrich in Tarangire,” Dr. Lee says. “Omo appears to get along with the other giraffes, she has always been seen with a large group of normally coloured giraffe – they don’t seem to mind her different colouring,” the 45-year-old ecologist added.
Even Mr. Lee is impressed how long Omo managed to stay away of trouble. “Omo is now 15 months old – she survived her first year as a small calf, which is the most dangerous time for a young giraffe due to lion, leopard and hyena preying on them. We and our partners are working on giraffe conservation and anti-poaching to help give Omo and her relatives a better chance of survival. We hope that she lives a long life and that some day she has calves of her own, ” Mr. Lee said.
However, Omo isn’t the only white giraffe spotted in the wild! Last year, a pair of rare white giraffes was spotted in Garissa County, Kenya.