Baby Zebra Found With Spots Where There Should Be Stripes

While zebras typically live in northern Kenya, this baby zebra is a bit more special than the rest in the area. It has spots all over its fur instead of the classic black and white stripes.

The spotted baby zebra was exploring the Maasai mara national Reserve, where it was photographed by nature photographers Rahul Sachdev and Antony Tira. The photos were shown to a wildlife specialist, Parmale Lemein, who is from the Matira Bush Camp.

Lemein says that this is the first case of a polka dot zebra that they’ve seen at the Mara Reserve. Scientists think that the baby zebra has a case of melanism, which is the opposite and lesser-known version of albinism.

While scientists don’t see many downsides to having a polka dot coat, there is one notable thing they’ve discovered. Stripes are known for helping zebras stay cool in the intense African heat. This little zebra will have to stay extra hydrated due to the lack of stripes.