The tour guide who first saw the animal nicknamed her Omo after a local brand of detergent.

"We were lucky enough to resight her again this January, almost exactly one year later. We are thrilled that she is still alive and well," said a blog post by the Wild Nature Institute.

The animal is not an albino. Although the calf appears otherwise healthy it suffers from a genetic condition called leucism that interferes with the ability of her skin cells to produce normal pigmentation.

She is lucky to be alive; more than half of all giraffe calves are dead before they are six months old because of predation and the harsh conditions of their habitat. White animals are particularly vulnerable because they lack the camouflage colouring of other members of their species and easily stand out to predators.

Poachers could also represent a particular threat to a white animal such as Omo in a region superstitious about albino animals and people. She would also be a rare trophy for a hunter. It is illegal to kill giraffes in Tanzania, but poaching is a huge problem.

"Her chances of surviving to adulthood are good, but adult giraffes are regularly poached for bush meat, and her coloration might make her a target," noted Wild Nature Institute ecologist Derek Lee. He hopes Omo's media attention will help protect her.

The Nature Institute is asking blog readers to vote on a name for the calf. Some prefer sticking with Omo; other suggestions include Lily, Frost, Popcorn and Talcum.