Rare giraffe might be one of a kind

White giraffe spotted in Tanzania

Omo the giraffe. Photo Courtesy: Abcnews.go.com.

A giraffe living in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania has a rare condition called leucism.

Omo the 15-month-old giraffe is the only known white giraffe in the world.

Leucism is a loss of different pigments that cause skin to be white. It differs from albinism because soft tissues, like eyes, can still retain color.

Dr. Derek Lee studies giraffes at Tarangire and is concerned for Omo’s safety because of her young age and poachers. Lee says only about 50 percent of calves born survive their first year.

Giraffe calves are easy targets for lions, hyenas and wild dogs, according to National Geographic.

Giraffes are also an endangered species. Lee reported that there are four elephants for every giraffe.

Lee is hoping Omo will help raise global awareness for giraffes. They are an understudied species, and their numbers have drastically declined over the past decade from habitat loss and poaching.

For more information on Omo, click here. 


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