A polka dot baby zebra was spotted (pun intended) in Kenya, and now the internet is going wild. The animal has already captured many hearts, and photos of the adorable creature have gone viral. What is more, we may finally put to bed the age-old question of whether zebras are black with white stripes or white with black stripes.
The rare zebra was seen in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, where photographers Rahul Sachdev and Antony Tira snapped some pictures of it.
Parmale Lemein, a wildlife specialist from the Matira Bush Camp, said that was the first such case of a polka dot zebra at the Mara Reserve. The baby zebra has probably melanism, the opposite of albinism. He had some sad news, though: no similar zebras have survived the past six months with such a condition in African parks.
According to scientists, zebra stripes form when there is an inhibition in melanin production, which means the animal is most likely black with white stripes, not the opposite.
However, zebra stripes are not only for show. Live Science argues that striped help the animals stay cool in the African heat, while there are also theories according to which stripes help zebras hide from potential predators, and help them avoid getting bitten by flies known to transmit diseases.