January 27, 2016 3:15 pm
Updated: January 27, 2016 3:18 pm

Omo the white giraffe spotted in Tanzanian national park

Omo is leucistic, which means part or all of Omo’s body surface lacks cells capable of making pigment.


She stands out among the crowd — and not because of her height.

Omo, a 15-month-old rare white giraffe, was recently spotted in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania nearly a year after the Wild Nature Institute first introduced her on its blog last April.

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While Omo may look albino, she’s actually leucistic – which means part or all of Omo’s body surface lacks cells capable of making pigment.

“One way to tell the difference between albino and leucistic animals is that albino individuals lack melanin everywhere, including in the eyes, so the resulting eye color is red from the underlying blood vessels,” according to the blog.

Named after a local detergent, Omo seems to be growing and thriving in the national park located in the northeastern part of the country about 118km southwest of Arusha.

Arusha is a hub for tourists setting off on safaris in the Tarangire and Serengeti national parks, as well as the Ngorongoro Crater.

Young giraffes are often a target for bigger animals during their early years, so wildlife experts are thrilled that Omo continues to thrive.

“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,” ecologist Dr. Derek Lee told The Telegraph.

Lee, founder of the Wild Nature Institute, captured the recent photos of Omo.

“Omo is the only pale giraffe we are currently aware of, but we have also observed leucistic waterbuck, Cape buffalo and ostrich in Tarangire,” he told The Telegraph.

Poaching continues to be a problem in Africa, so no doubt conservationists in Tanzania and abroad will be doing everything they can to keep Omo and the rest of her tower safe.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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