(CNN)When ecologist Dr. Derek Lee first spotted Omo, a snow-white, 15-month-old giraffe with a rare condition called leucism, he was concerned for her safety.
This rare white giraffe may be happy, but its life is in danger
"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," he says. "Only about 50% of calves born survive their first year."
Omo's condition also makes her more of a target for poachers -- who can spot her more easily. Since being spotted, the giraffe has become a bit of an internet sensation. Lots or readers wondered if the herd had accepted her.
"I think people love the fact that Omo the white giraffe was accepted by her more typically colored peers, because it speaks to the human aspiration of tolerance and acceptance of those who look different and are not normal," he says.