World ONLY polka-dotted baby Zebra, Unique Look makes it Apart from its Mom and Group in wild

Everyone knows zebras have black and white stripes — at least, most of them do. But a newborn zebra named Tira looks a little different. 

Tira was born with a dark coat covered in white polka dots, and just a few small stripes around his legs.

The tiny foal was first spotted last Friday by Antony Tira, a guide in the Maasai Mara region of Kenya.

Rare Polka-dot Zebra Spotted in the Masai Mara, Kenya


The next day, photographer Frank Liu went out with his camera to search for rhinos — but ended up finding Tira instead.
“I felt like I was looking at a different species,” Liu told The Dodo. “He was beautiful and really stood out amongst the zebras. I wasn’t able to keep my eyes off of him during the whole sighting.”

Rare zebra with 'polka dots' spotted in Kenyan wildlife reserve

Tira, who’s less than 2 weeks old, is still sticking close to his mom, Liu said.

“There were other herd members around and did not seem to mind him too much,” Liu said. 

Rare Polka-dot Zebra Spotted in the Masai Mara, Kenya

Tira’s unique look is due to a genetic mutation, according to Brenda Larison, zebra expert and adjunct professor at UCLA.

“This particular variation is pretty uncommon, but they do pop up from time to time,” Larison told The Dodo. “I’ve seen several photos of this type over the years.”

Spotted in Kenya: A Baby Zebra With Polka Dots | Smart News| Smithsonian  Magazine

But this is the first time a zebra like Tira has been spotted in the Maasai Mara, Liu said — so Tira is getting plenty of attention. “I was only there with another vehicle when I arrived,” Liu said.

“About half an hour later, there were a dozen vehicles rushing in from all directions. That’s when I decided it was time to leave Tira alone.”

Rare zebra foal with polka dots (spots) instead of stripes, named Tira  after the guide who
Baby zebra with his mother
While Tira’s unusual coloring will make it harder for him to hide with the rest of his herd, everyone’s hoping the little calf will stay safe and healthy.

Wildlife Photo Of The Week: Tira The Polka Dotted Zebra, 45% OFF

“A likely function of zebra herds, possibly enhanced by their stripes, is safety from predators due to predator confusion, sometimes called the dazzle effect,” Larison said.

Rare Baby Zebra With Polka Dots Sighted In Maasai Mara,, 52% OFF

“It makes it hard for predators to target an individual. It is easier for predators to target oddballs because they stand out in the group.”

This Baby Zebra Was Born With Spots Instead Of Stripes | Bored Panda

But for now, Tira has a lot of people keeping an eye out for him — and rooting for him from around the world.


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