Omo the giraffe is truly one of a kind. But his life is in jeopardy.
While he is certainly a rare sight to see, like none other, he also has a rare health condition, like none other. Its called leucism and as far as anyone knows, Omo is the only giraffe in existence to have it. Researchers and conservationists are working hard to help treat the rare genetic condition in Omo. It’s actually the reason Omo looks as he does. Normally it makes the fur lighter, but because Omo is a giraffe, an already unusually colored animal, this may be the reason the bright red color has happened. Its certainly causing some serious double takes, and some major viral internet attention!
When was the last time you saw an animal this strikingly beautiful? If she were human, you might expect to see her fronting a punk rock band or some other creative endeavor.
Hes been getting a ton of attention frommore specific groups of people as well. Nature researchers and conservationists.
He was quickly named Omo, which it turns out, quite humorously, is actually the name of a brand of laundry detergent in the region. I wonder how Omo would feel about hername if sheknew?
The reason hes been getting so much attention is because researchers are worried about hergetting even more attention from some less-positive sources.
Omos unique look probably makes her a huge target for natural predators. Animals rely on their blending in with the environment. Even from a great distance, that red mane destroys a natural camouflage ability. Ecologist Dr. Derek Lee states the following: The first year of life is very dangerous for wild giraffes because they are small enough to be killed and eaten by lions, hyenas, and leopards, Only about 50% of calves born survive their first year.
Keep in mind, thats concerning normal looking giraffes. You can see how greater those numbers are for a redhead giraffe. Of course there is the human poacher threat as well. No doubt theres no shortage of idiots who would see Omo as the perfect trophy head to mount in their living room. Again, this is a huge problem for regular giraffes. Omo, standing out as she does, makes it even a bigger threat for her.
In any event it would be a shame to lose an animal like this just because she is an easy target. Thankfully there are teams of people working to protect Omo from the very real human threat. Manned patrols are taking place, tracking cameras and even drones are being used to protect her. One good thing is that other giraffes in her group have fully accepted Omo and there are no signs of rejecting her because she looks different.
“We certainly hope that despite any potential threats and any other hazards nature can muster, that Omo has a long and fulfilling giraffe life, full of fun giraffe games, tasty giraffe food and sweet giraffe dreams.”
To learn more about the conservation effort taking place to help out Omo, as well as all the amazing technology being used to ensure her safety, you can check out the Project: GIRAFFE website which has a ton of information available.