Many know zebras by their beautiful white and black stripes. However, a rare black dotted newborn zebra which was recently spotted in Maasai Mara Game Reserve has been a centre of attraction for the past few days.
The foal was first identified and photographed by Anthony Atira, a tour guide-cum photographer at Matira Bush Camp.
He later posted the pictures on the camp’s Facebook page and moments later the photos went viral throwing social media into a frenzy.
The dotted zebra foal which has been spotted in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve [Photo/Courtesy]Speaking to a local media, the officer stated that the encounter left him surprised.
“At first I thought it was a zebra that had been captured and painted or marked for purposes of migration. I was confused when I first saw it,” said Atira.
He later learnt that it was actually a zebra with a melanin disorder.
It was hardly a week old, it appeared weak and very different from the others for it has not stripes and was stuck close to a female adult zebra, probably its mother.
The discovery is reported to have caused a stampede in the area as drivers and photographers took tourists to the area to witness the rare occurrence.
According to researchers, the foal’s dark colour is due to a genetic abnormality linked to the amount of melanin, affecting the pigmentation of the fur.
Parmale Lemein, Matira Camp Wildlife specialist, pointed out that there has never been any recorded case in the Mara Reserve of such a rare zebra.
However, Lemein noted that none of the zebra with such a condition in other game parks in Africa has survived for more than six months after birth.
The rare discovery comes months after a blonde coloured zebra was spotted in Serengeti National Park.
Sergio Pitamitz, a photographer for National Geographic, spotted the golden-coloured zebra near a watering hole in the park.
A close examination revealed that the zebra had partial albinism.