A Rare Zebra With Spots Instead Of Stripes Was Born In Maasai Mara National Reserve In Kenya

A Rare Zebra With Spots Instead Of Stripes Was Born In Maasai Mara National Reserve In Kenya

Zebras are known for their stripes, but there is one rare zebra with spots that stands out from the crowd. 

Nature always wonders us with its incredible offerings. It has a myriad of species from beautiful and colorful birds to vicious animals with distinctive features. Amidst these creatures, some creatures still hold some remarkable characteristics and manage to grab the attention of everyone. Such as this unique and rare zebra with spots, instead of stripes, who was born in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, and became the talking point for everyone due to its unique appearance. 

A Rare Zebra With Spots Instead Of Stripes Was Born In Maasai Mara National Reserve In Kenya

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During a trip to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, wildlife photographer Frank Liu captured a series of images featuring a very unique baby zebra, which has since become a social media sensation.

The baby zebra was named Tira by a Maasai guide who discovered him. Tira is no ordinary zebra; he possesses a rare genetic mutation that has resulted in an extraordinary appearance. Unlike regular zebras, Tira has patterns that resemble polka dots rather than traditional stripes. Not only that, but he also has an unusual colorway, with white markings on a dark coat.

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A Rare Zebra With Spots Instead Of Stripes Was Born In Maasai Mara National Reserve In Kenya

Scientists refer to Tira’s stripe pattern abnormality as “pseudo melanism.” It is believed that a rare genetic mutation affecting melanocytes, the cells responsible for melanin synthesis, is the cause of this unique coloring. While Tira’s genes for color are intact, the melanin does not manifest correctly in his coat, giving him his distinct appearance.

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Though Tira’s appearance has made him a social media star, his life in the wild may prove challenging. His distinctive looks make him an easy target for predators, and he may struggle to repel biting flies effectively, exposing him to diseases such as equine influenza. Strangely, studies have shown that biting flies are less likely to land on striped surfaces.

A Rare Zebra With Spots Instead Of Stripes Was Born In Maasai Mara National Reserve In Kenya

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Despite the challenges, Tira has gained numerous fans worldwide who have fallen in love with this truly one-of-a-kind animal. The hope is that he will continue to be spotted as he safely grows up in the beautiful landscape of Kenya’s Masai Mara.

 

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