A rare white giraffe calf was recently spotted in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.
The giraffe was first spotted by Scientists at the New Hampshire-based wildlife-research group Wild Nature Institute in 2015. The Local tour guides have named the Giraffe Omo, after a popular local brand of detergent.
Omo is not albino but has a genetic condition called leucism, says Derek Lee, founder of the institute. Her skin cells don’t produce pigmentation, but soft tissues, such as her dark eyes, do.
Being leucistic means that Omo still has pigment in her soft tissues, such as her eyes, but not her skin cells.Though uncommon, leucism occurs in many species including penguins, eagles, and hippos.
Omo has been especially lucky: More than half of all giraffe calves die before they’re six months old, as they’re often targets of lions, hyenas, and wild dogs, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Not to mention, Omo’s obvious appearance could attract predators all the more, hampering her chances of survival.