Rare Zebra With Spots Instead Of Stripes Is Born In Kenya
Dec 2nd, 2019
Probably everyone has seen zebra and its mesmerizing stripes. Maybe not in person, but we all know that zebras are unique with their stripes. These stripes make them one of the most familiar to people. In fact, the pattern of their stripes is the only way that you can tell apart from one zebra from the other zebras.
Each zebra species has a unique pattern. According to facts, there are no two zebras having the same stripe, just as no two human fingerprints are the same.
These zebras thrive in grasslands, savannas, woodlands, and even thorny scrublands, mountains, and the coastal hills. Zebras have different species, the plains zebra, mountain zebra, and the Grévy’s zebra. But they all belong to the horse family.
The plains zebra, as well as the mountain zebra, belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, while the Grévy’s zebra is the only species from the subgenus Dolichohippus. The plains and the mountain zebras look like horses, while the Grévy’s look like an ass that these animals are closely related to.
But have you seen a zebra with spots? That is surely a rare one!
Meet Tira. She is a baby zebra that is the most precious jewel of the Maasai Mara National Park located in Kenya. Tira was named after a Maasai guide – Antony Tira. He is a tour guide and a photographer at the Matira Bush Camp. He was the one who first spotted the black dotted baby zebra while he was checking out the park’s game reserve just near the Mara River.
Instead of having black and white stripes, Tira had a short and hairless tail with a dark brown coat and white dots. She is so cute yet vulnerable because she is believed to be only a week old when found by the photographer.
A wildlife specialist from Matira Bush Camp named Parmale Lemein said that Tira is one of a kind in the Maasai mara National Reserve, a preserve area of the savannah located in Southwestern Kenya. Lemein also explained that zebras like Tira that were born in other parks did not survive longer than 6 months.
Ren Larison from the University of California in Los Angeles is a biologist and is also studying the evolution of zebra stripes. He explained that baby Tira has what they call ‘Pseudomelanism.’ This is a rare genetic mutation where it changes the zebra’s stripe pattern. Again, every zebra is unique. Its stripes are not only to make the animal beautiful, but it also serves as a tool to ward off the horseflies.
According to Daily Nation, when the public learned about the polka-dotted zebras, it resulted in more tourists and photographers to visit the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Photos were also posted online and there is no doubt why they became viral!
The internet love to see something that they have never seen before. This is why when Tira’s photos were posted online, many people loved it. Isn’t it nice to see a cute, rare animal? This is why people can’t stop talking about Tira.
The zebra popular has been greatly affected by humans. Even though they are not an endangered species, but they are usually hunted for their skins and meat. So if we want to see more rare zebras like Tira, let us help spread awareness about the conservation of these animals.