Kenya: Polka-Dotted Zebra Leaves the Mara for Tanzania

The dotted zebra foul which has been spotted in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve causing excitement among tourists.
2 October 2019

The rare polka-dot zebra foal that was recently spotted in the Mara has now crossed the Tanzanian border into Serengeti National Park alongside migrating zebras and wildebeests on their return journey to calf.

This was confirmed by a dozen tourists and tour guides who spotted it crossing the sand river which is the border line of the two reserves.

Kenya tour guides and drivers association's secretary Felix Migoya said the baby zebra, almost a month or so old, is grazing with the herds in northern Serengeti.

He dispelled rumours that the new tourist attraction in the Mara was captured and caged according to social media posts in the last three days.

"This social media reports are fake, the one in the post is bigger and was captured in South Africa on unidentified dates some years back," said Mr Migoya when he spoke to the Nation on Wednesday.

The parents of baby zebra are on their annual migration of more than one million wildebeest between the Serengeti and Maasai Mara Game Reserve-- a spectacle that draws tourists from around the world.

The spectacle, ranked as one of the new 'Seventh Wonders of the World', normally starts in mid-June to October.

During this time, the wildebeests mate before making their return journey alongside hundreds of zebras, topies and other grazing herds.

This rare black zebra foal was first spotted and photographed in early September near the Mara River by Antony Tira, a respected Maasai tour guide and photographer at the Matira Bush Camp in the reserve.

Mr Tira and named the baby zebra with his sir name 'Tira'.

The zebra foal has some white spots and a few small, incomplete white stripes.

SPECTACLE

It is not completely black, and so its distinctive coat pattern has been described in the media as "pseudo-melanistic".

In common cases, zebra foals are brown with white stripes when they are born and the brown darkens to black as the animal matures.

"Because of its colour, it became famous all over sudden and has been driving tourism enthusiasts to the Mara and the roads might now change towards Serengeti as more people are following on the creature," added Mr Migoya.

Mr Tira photographed the peculiarly marked zebra foal and posted the images to the Matira Bush Camp's Facebook page after informing the Nation of his finding.

The photographs generated a lot of attention and unleashed a near-human 'stampede' in the reserve.

Everyone wanted to see this foal. Tour guides were quickly enlisted to take eager tourists and photographers to the lookout area where the newborn zebra and his mother were located.

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