I am currently taking a lot of environmental and bio classes. So far I have sat through a lot of lectures about extinction, habitat loss, climate change, and things that are pretty depressing. To combat my scholarly depression, my current event is cute. fun. and a giraffe
Meet Omo, a rare white giraffe recently photographed in Tanzania. Omo has leucism, a genetic disorder that pigment cells to fail during differentiation. As a result, part of the body surface cannot make pigments. Biologists could tell the Omo has leucism and not albinism because there are still parts of her body that are pigmented. In albinism the entire body surface cannot create pigments, including the eyes. Omo is fifteen months old and therefore has outlived the critical risk period of being predated upon. However, she is now at risk of being poached. Lucky for Omo it is illegal to kill a giraffe in Tanzania (it is their national animal) and she lives in a national park with high anti-poaching efforts, giving her the best chance at survival. It is remarkable that she has lived this long because her disorder affects her ability to blend in with the surrounding environment. She sticks out like a white, pasty, tourist on a tropical beach. Fortunately, Omo seems to be in the peak of health for a giraffe and is doing well. Thank you Omo for adding more adorable, and awesome to the world.