A recent visitor to the Kruger National Park came across an unusual sighting of a zebra with what looks like spots around a scar on its flank. Posting to the Facebook group, Kruger Sightings, Shirley van Niekerk asked members what they thought could have caused it.
The general consensus is that the unusual pattern could be a normal genetic variation that affects a small percentage of the zebra population. It could also be melanism (the opposite of albinism), where a zebra’s stripes haven’t developed properly and result in deviant patterns forming across the skin. Another member of the group thought that stress, probably caused by whatever inflicted the scar, resulted in the deformation of the stripes.
Of course, as South Africans do, some also found the humour in it, joking good-naturedly that perhaps the ink ran before it could dry properly. Others offered tongue-in-the-cheek comments speculating that perhaps the zebra’s father took a special interest in leopards.
Image: Facebook/Shirley van Niekerk