Rare Zebra Born with Spots Instead of Stripes

Image: Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association

A rare zebra was born with stunning polka-dots, and the internet has gone wild.

The unique zebra was born in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

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🦓 Tira – The Odd One @natgeo @natgeowild @natgeoyourshot

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Parmale Lemein, a wildlife specialist from the Matira Bush Camp, told the Daily Nation that this was the first such case of a polka dot zebra at the Mara Reserve. It’s most likely that the baby zebra has melanism, which is the opposite of albinism. However, he had some sad news: no similar zebras have survived past six months with such a condition in African parks.

This rare zebra looks this way due to a case of melanism. Melanistic animals have an excess of a pigment called melanin that makes their skin, hair or fur very dark, or in some cases, completely black.

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