The recently discovered black and spotted Zebra is reported to be in the Serengeti National park. This comes just as the annual wildebeest migration troops into Tanzania. Few local tour guides have admitted to have spotted the zebra in the Serengeti, but it was Aafeez Jivraj who managed to capture the pictures of the foal. Aafeez spotted the foal and his mother crossing into the Serengeti at Sand River.
RELATED: MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE, KENYA
The zebra christened Tira was first discovered a little over two weeks ago at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.
The foal was first discovered by a Maasai guide Antony Tira, who named him Tira along with photographer Frank Liu. When he was found he was likely about a week old and was thought to be a different species entirely.
Tira’s rare colouration is the first recorded observation in the Maasai Mara according to Liu although other foals have been discovered in Okavango Delta in Botswana.
Now each Zebra’s stripes are unique as fingerprints, but Tira and these other foals have a condition known as pseudomelanism.
Ren Larison, a biologist studying the evolution of zebra stripes at the University of California, Los Angeles says pseudomelanism is a rare genetic mutation where animals display some type of abnormality in their stripe pattern.
Zebras also experience other unusual colour variations, like partial albinism. A zebra with partial albinism was photographed earlier this year in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.
Keeping track of such equine aberrations is useful to science as part of a broader goal to monitor changes in species and how they’re managed by local communities.