A rare white giraffe was spotted in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park. This giraffe, named Omo, has a condition called leucism.
“Leucism is a genetic condition that results in some of her skin cells being unable to create pigments, so she ends up looking very pale, with only vague patterns compared to a normal giraffe’s coloration,” said Derek Lee, founder of the Wild Nature Institute. Lee researches giraffes at the National Park.
“It is very rare. This is only the second record of a white giraffe in Tarangire over the past 20 years or so, among more than 3,000 giraffes in the area,” Lee told ABC News.
He was the first person to take photos of Omo.
Many fear Omo will become a target for illegal poaching because of her unique coloring.
“It is illegal to kill giraffes in Tanzania because they are the national animal. But illegal market hunting for meat is well-known to be rampant around Tarangire,” Lee said. “Unfortunately all giraffes, not just the white ones like Omo, are threatened by bushmeat poaching.”
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SOURCE: ABC News, Catharine Thorbecke