The white giraffe named Omo looks like she has bleached skin because of a condition called leucism. The condition results from partial loss of pigmentation. However, unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin.
Although special efforts are being made for giraffe conservation and anti-poaching to help Omo and other giraffes survive, experts are concerned Omo could targeted by poachers because of her unique condition.
According to Ecologist Dr Derek Lee, founder of the Wild Nature Institute (WNI), “Her chances of surviving to adulthood are good but adult giraffes are regularly poached for bush meat, and her colouration might make her a target.
“We and our partners are working on giraffe conservation and anti-poaching to help give Omo and her relatives a better chance of survival”.
Giraffe poaching remains a big problem in Tanzania, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A report published in 2014 indicates that, “giraffe poaching in several countries is on the rise, a trend that could further threaten a species that has lost more than 40 percent of its population over the past 15 years”.
Conservationists continue to highlight the plight of one of Africa’s megafauna in an effort to preserve the animal poached for its tail, meat and hide.
Source: The Telegraph