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.
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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.
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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.
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