Researchers at the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania discovered this extremely rare white giraffe last year, and lovingly (insultingly?) named it "Omo," after a detergent brand.
Suffering from leucism, Omo doesn't have pigment-producing cells like other members of her species, which gives her the all-white skin. Leucistic animals differ from albinos, in that albino animals totally lack melanin throughout their bodies, and also usually possess bright red eyes due to the coloration of the blood vessels underneath.
Sadly, there are fears that Omo's rare coat may end up attracting poachers, who seem to find no end in their ongoing quest of cartoonish evil. Researchers are hoping Omo will blend into other cream-colored areas, rather than stand out like a Portlander at the beach, and that she survives long enough to study. They'd like to learn whether something like leucism could be an adaptive trait rather than a mutant fluke. And if it's the latter, at least the X-Giraffes have found their leader.
You don't want this giraffe to end up like this giant stuffed one, do you?
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