Recently, a zebra foal with a dark coat and white polka dots has been spotted in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve by photographer Frank Liu when he was on the search for rhinos and noticed about a week old dark coat and white polka dots zebra.
“At first glance, he looked like a different species altogether,” Liu says. Antony Tira, a Maasai guide who first spotted the foal, named him Tira. Tira has a rare genetic mutation called pseudomelanism, in which animals display abnormality in their stripe pattern, says Ren Larison, who studies the evolution of zebra stripes at UCLA.
Zebra stripes are very unique as similar to the fingerprints, but Tira’s odd coloration could be the first recorded observation in the Masai Mara, according to Liu.