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Rare white giraffe seen at Tanzania national park

By Daniel Uria   |   Jan. 27, 2016 at 11:30 AM

BABATI, Tanzania, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Photos were released of a rare white giraffe living at Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.

The giraffe, named Omo, has a rare condition known as leucism that causes it to have a unique white coloring, much lighter than the average giraffe.

"Omo who is leucistic, is the only white giraffe in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania," Facebook page I-Love-Africa wrote alongside photos of Omo. "But that abnormality makes it so special and beautiful."

Wild Nature Institute founder Derek Lee told ABC News that only one other leucistic giraffe had been recorded in the area in two decades.

"It is very rare. This is only the second record of a white giraffe in Tarangire over the past 20 years or so, among more than 3,000 giraffes in the area," he said.

Lee, who was the first to photograph the giraffe, also said the rarity and beauty of Omo's coloring however makes the giraffe a target for poaching.

"It is illegal to kill giraffes in Tanzania because they are the national animal. But illegal market hunting for meat is well-known to be rampant around Tarangire," he said.

It is Lee's hope that the publicity surrounding Omo's rare condition will raise awareness of the poaching issue in the area.

Omo who is leucistic, is the only white giraffe in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. But that abnormality makes it so special and beautiful.

Posted by I-Love-Africa on Monday, January 25, 2016
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