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Extremely rare white giraffe spotted in Tanzania

leucistic giraffe

On our recent survey for giraffe in the Tarangire Ecosystem, we came across a stunning, nearly white giraffe calf.  This giraffe was not albino, but leucistic.  Leucism is when some or all pigment cells (that make color) fail to develop during differentiation, so part or all of the 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. 
We were lucky enough to resight her again this January, almost exactly one year later.  We are thrilled that she is still alive and well.  Below are photos of the leucistic giraffe calf, then and now.  A local lodge guide christened her Omo, after a popular brand of detergent here.  Alternative names are welcome, or vote for Omo as her moniker.









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