White giraffe spotted in Tanzania

If winter weather has you longing for a vacation to a land of sun and exotic animals, you might consider heading to Tanzania.

Wild Nature Institute (WNI), a New Hampshire-based wildlife research group, recently cited a leucistic Masai giraffe in the Tarangire National Park in Babati, Tanzania, WNI reported on its blog on Jan. 19. The pale giraffe was originally cited last year when a calf.

“Omo is leucistic, meaning many of the skin cells are incapable of making a pigment,” Derek Lee, PhD, told The Telegraph, a U.K. news outlet. “Some are, so she is pale but not pure white, with red or blue eyes, as a true albino would be.”

“[This condition] is very rare,” Lee told NEWStat. “This is only the second record of a white giraffe in Tarangire over the past 20 years or so, among more than 3000 giraffes in the area.”

Does Omo’s unusual color cause problems in the herd? Not at all.

“I think people love the fact that Omo the white giraffe was accepted by her more typically colored peers,” Lee told NEWStat, "because it speaks to the human aspiration for tolerance and acceptance of those who look different and are not normal.”

Photo credit: © iStock/haydenbird

NEWStat Interesting/unusual