Omo is a Masai giraffe who definitely stands out, even more than a giraffe normally does, as she is almost completely white. She was born some time last year, which lead to the Wild Nature Institute writing a blog post about the striking animal. Omo was spotted again in Tanzania's Tarangire National Park a year later, and the Wild Nature Institute said in a blog post last week that they were happy to find out that she was alive and well.
Ecologist Derek Lee, the owner of the Institute, visited the park last week and saw the giraffe again. He took several photos of her, which have made their way around the world. Many are marvelling at the giraffe's beauty and wondering why she's white when her herd are all normal-looking Masai giraffes, according to Rare.
The reason for Omo's bleached look is that she has leucism, meaning that certain cells in her body don't take on pigment. Her eyes are pigmented, but not her skin cells, reported National Geographic. Omo was nicknamed by a local guide last year- Omo is the name of a detergent popular in the area- and the Institute is looking for votes from the public about whether Omo should keep her name, or if she should get a new one.
Her very distinctive look could unfortunately make her a target for poachers, so the Wild Nature Institute is doing whatever they can to protect her and her herd. "We and our partners are working on giraffe conservation and anti-poaching to help give Omo and her relatives a better chance of survival," Lee said.
"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 coloring," he added, reported The Telegraph.
We hope that Omo continues to live a long and happy life!