No matter how old you are or how much you’ve seen, one thing is certain: nature never quits to amaze! It’s one of Mother Nature’s most amazing things. A rare brown baby zebra!
Antony Tira, a safari guide from Kenya, first saw the animal on September 15 in the Masai Mara National Reserve. The guide named the foal Tira after him because he was the first to spot the unique animal. The newborn zebra is brown with dot patterns and has a hairless tail, unlike a normal zebra.
Experts say the rare baby zebra has melanism. Unlike albinism, melanism is caused by the skin’s dark pigmentation. Although the baby zebra is a delight to behold, its unique condition may endanger its life, since the herd tends to shun those who stand out.
While this is the first known incidence in the Masai Mara, a wildlife photographer noticed a zebra with enlarged patches on its back in 2012. The animal lived only six months.
“A Maasai guide found a unique […] newborn zebra in the Maasai Mara last night and named it Tira. “We were one of the first to Tira this morning!” commented wildlife photographer Frank Liu on Facebook. “A similar event occurred years earlier, but the zebra retained its stripes and brush-like tail. But Tira has polka dot designs! I hope the specialists investigate this situation and report back soon!”
It’s not the first rare animal to be discovered in the African savanna. Two white giraffes were seen in the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa county last year. An albino baby elephant was photographed in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
Image credits: Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association