Newborn Zebra With Rare Polka Dot Markings Is Spotted In Kenya
A photographer noticed the black dotted foal, which is said to be the first of its kind, while in the Maasai Mara National Reserve near the Mara River.
Tour guide Antony Tira initially believed the young foal, who is missing its iconic stripes had been captured and marked "for the purposes of migration".
He told Daily Nation: "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."
But as the photographer got a closer look of the newborn, who remained close to its mother, had a melanin disorder called Melanism, which is the opposite of albinism.
Melanism is caused by a build-up of dark pigmented melanin in the skin and in this case, it means that the young zebra's stripes haven't developed properly and instead has a pattern of small stripes and spots across its skin.
In a video taken by Abdelrahman Hassanein, the rare foal's markings can be seen clearly with white dotted markings across its neck and chest. The zebra also has an entirely black back and thin white stripes on its legs.
According to the Daily Nation, a reported "stampede" occurred in the Maasai Mara National Reserve by the animal's discovery as tourists and guides rushed to the park to observe the rare zebra.
Wildlife specialist Parmale Lemein at Matira Camp told the Daily Nation there has never been any recorded case in the reserve of a zebra with such rare markings.
Parmale said melanistic zebras had been spotted at other parks in Africa - none of which had survived six months.
It's not hard to spot the little foal!
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Abdelrahman Hassanein