BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The handlers working for Tarangire National Park in Tanzania rejoiced to see that Omo is alive and well. Omo was spotted again in January, after a year of absence.
Omo is a rare white giraffe which was born in the Tarangire National Park, Tanzania’s sixth largest wildlife reservation. Unlike other white zebras which suffer from a condition called albinism, a disease mainly caused by the lack of melanin, a pigment, Omo has another condition called leucism.
A giraffe or another animal born with leucism isn’t entirely white, like those who suffer from albinism, they mainly have a pale white color. Moreover, the disease can also result in a patchy pigmentation of the skin. According to researchers, animals suffering from this condition lack additional pigments, not only melanin.
Omo, a true star among the giraffes which call the Tarangire National Park home, doesn’t have pink eyes or blue eyes, symptoms mainly attribute to albinism. Instead, the giraffe has a pale white skin, clear eyes and its skin retains the tinted pattern.
According to Omo’s keepers, the giraffe has named after a popular type of detergent due to its pale white and not anywhere near bleached skin.
Omo, who is now 15-months old, was recently photographed by a couple of wildlife photographers working for a wildlife NGO. Last year, the pale white giraffe vanished without a trace and everyone was wondering what became of him.
But everyone was relieved when the couple snapped a few shots of the pale white giraffe and thus confirming that Omo is alive and well.
Albino giraffes are a very rare sight in the wildlife park. According to the handles working for the wildlife park, over the last twenty years, only two albino giraffes were born in the park.
Omo’s reappearance is regarded as a miracle by the biologists working for the National Park because a great number of giraffe yearling do not survive the first year of life. While most of them are killed by local predators such as lion or hyenas, other are hunted by poachers interested in harvesting their meat.
According to the National Park’s board, the giraffe’s meat is in high demand on the market, thus attracting a lot of individuals who bend the law in their favor. Hunting and harvesting giraffes are strictly forbidden, bu this doesn’t seem to stop poachers from taking advantage of the situation.
But is seems that the number of cases involving poachers has decreased over the last years, due to the fact that Tanzania has made ample efforts in order to discourage and combat the practice.
Omo was spotted again in January and wildlife specialists are eager to see what was the little tyke up to.