Mutated Zebra in Masai Mara is the latest most – sought after attraction. The barely one-month-old Mutated Zebra in Masai Mara has become so famous; at one point it was all you could see on the internet. This mutated Zebra was discovered by one of the park’s guides last week who recalls that at first sight, he thought the Zebra was painted by some unscrupulous people but on a closer look, he realized this was a baby Zebra, a colt with every characteristic of a Zebra but one.
You know how Zebras are known distinctively for their black and white stripes; this little Zebra doesn’t have black and white stripes, it has white polka dots on a dark brown nearly black coat. The only way you know it’s a Zebra is because it has a horse-like body, has long thin legs, a mane with short erect hair and a tail that is tufted at the tip. However, this colt’s stripes didn’t form neither did the black coat which resulted to the polka dots on the brown coat.
Scientists claim that a Zebra’s black and white stripes are formed from the melanin action in the body and for the case of the Mutated Zebra in Masai Mara, they say there was an alternation in the melanin action that resulted to the stripes not forming which makes the Masai Mara National Reserve wonder Colt an Albino Zebra.
Albinism is a result of a defect in melanin inhibition, production or distribution in the body that affects the pigmentation of the fur. It’s a condition commonly seen in humans however rarely seen or noticed in animals; well because of several factors like the variations in animal behaviours that makes it hard to track the animals’ every move hence if an animal was an Albino or one gave birth to an Albino you wouldn’t know which one or where to find it. It’s also known that animals with defects like albinism don’t survive for long so there are high chances an albino animal will die or be eaten before you find it.
That’s why this Mutated Zebra in Masai Mara is a wonder, surprise and a miracle to the park. It’s out of sheer luck that it was sighted in the park; the colt was in a herd of other black and white striped Zebras standing just a few inches from one of the adults whom we assume is its mother.
Zebra stripes help the Zebras in the regulation of body temperature, scientists say that air moves quickly over the black stripes and slowly over the white stripes which cause convection currents in the Zebra that cools the Zebra. There are theories that stripes help the Zebra hide in the grass from its predators though this theory is often disputed because the Zebra’s predators (mainly the big cats) have poor eyesight and usually smell their prey before they attack them.
However, it’s true that when Zebras are together in a group standing or walking together their stripes form a flickering effect, which makes it hard for the predators to single out one animal to prey on.
The Zebra’s black and white stripes help the Zebras identify each other and more strong use of the stripes, the stripes deter flies from attacking the zebra; the stripes confuse the flies and the flies halt their landings on the Zebra in the end, flies don’t land on Zebras.
It’s for all these combined reasons and previous research findings that there are strong speculation that the Masai Mara mutated Zebra may not live long; because the melanin disorder is associated with other genetic disorders and diseases that may be fatal to the animal but also the disorder makes the animal susceptible to other diseases that can still be fatal to it. Without the stripes flies will easily bite this Zebra, transmitting disease to it or inflicting wounds on it, and this all affects the zebra’s wellbeing; the other factor, is because its different from the other zebras it can easily be singled out by the predators, there are beliefs too that though Zebras are social animals and like to keep in their herds, this Zebra will be discriminated because it is different forcing it into isolation and making it easy prey to predator. This similar incident happened in Okavango, South Africa in 2012 a colt with a similar condition was easily attacked by hyenas six months affect its birth.
Though this is the first sighted mutated Zebra in Masai Mara there are unconfirmed reports that there a few dozen blonde striped Zebras on a private reserve in Mount Kenya national park and photograph of one blonde striped zebra from Serengeti National park has been posted on the internet before.
Black and white is for Zebras and polka dots are for the wonder mutated Zebra at Masai mara. Plan a trip to Maasai Mara today to see this wonder for yourself. Tell your whole village about.