An extremely rare baby zebra with spots has been spotted in Kenya.
In fact, it was pretty hard to miss with its black coat and white polka-dot spots.
“At first glance, he looked like a different species altogether,” Liu told National Geographic. He estimates the little guy was approximately one week old at the time.
The photographer’s Maasai guide, Antony Tira, has named the spotted zebra Tira after himself.
Liu first posted photos of the zebra on Instagram last week, and he says he’s revisited the park to see Tira again since then.
He’s also been receiving fan art from people who are excited by Tira.
Tira is a melanistic zebra, meaning its stripes did not form properly due to a genetic abnormality that affects melanin production. Young melanistic zebras are spotted in the wild every few years, but it’s extremely rare to see an adult one.
Some have referred to melanistic zebras as “opposite” zebras. They are distinct from “blonde” zebras, which have yellow stripes caused by albinism.
Each zebra’s stripe pattern is unique, although its evolutionary function is still a mystery.
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