Giraffes are one of the most famous wild creatures on the planet. Giraffes are recognized as the tallest land animals in the world and are native to Africa. As for the coat of these huge creatures, it often consists of brown spots separated by white or cream tones. However, some really rare giraffes have completely white or completely black coats. The rarest giraffes in the world are leucists and melanists.
In both cases, skin pigmentation is affected by a regressive gene. Melanism develops due to dark skin pigmentation, whereas albinism results in a lack of skin pigmentation. Unlike albinism, melanism can be seen in many animal species, including giraffes, foxes, leopards, and tigers.
Although some animals (such as the jaguar) are more prone to developing melanism than others, this unusual trait has a significant impact on their social life. These animals are generally shunned by their communities due to their unusual appearance. Due to their lack of natural camouflage, they have a relatively short lifespan as predators are always after them.
A genetic issue is responsible for the extremely distinctive coloration of the white giraffe, which is why only two white giraffes are known in the world. This time it’s leucism. Leucism and albinism are very similar, however, leucism only results in a lack of pigmentation. Albinism also affects the eyes and other parts of the body.
A pair of white giraffes (mother and calf) were first photographed a few years ago. See them below!
There is currently just one remaining wild leucistic giraffe (and the only one in the world). In Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park, there is an uncommon mammal called Omo. Dr. Derek Lee, the founder and head scientist of the Wildlife Institute, first noticed her.
Omo is now the only white giraffe that we are aware of, however Tarangire has also produced leucistic waterbuck, Cape buffalo, and ostrich. Omo has consistently been spotted with a sizable group of giraffes, most of which are colored; they do not appear to be aware of its odd coloring. Omo and the other giraffes appear to get along well.