The White Golden Zebra is one of the rarest zebras in existence.
Zoe a White Golden Zebra:
The only White Golden Zebra known to be in captivity at this time is a Zebra named Zoe. Zoe was born on the Island of Hawaii in 1998. Her and her mother, Oreo, were moved to the Three Ring Ranch, which is an animal sanctuary on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Some people refer to a White Golden Zebra as an albino. They are not an albino zebra. White Golden Zebra’s have a condition called Amelanism. This is a pigmentation abnormality characterized by the lack of color pigments called melanin’s.Zoe’s body is white and her stripes are a beautiful golden beige color. She also has beautiful bright blue eyes!
The only health problems they are aware of is the fact that Zoe has poor night vision. As she ages she may incur some complications due to the amelanism such has kidney problems. As a precaution she is fed a low protein diet and is monitored closely for skin cancer. Because of her condition Zoe will not be bred.
Amelanism is very dangerous if you are a zebra on the plains. Zebra’s stripes are used as camouflage and to confuse their predators. The main predator of the zebra is the lion. Lions are known for being color-blind. Since zebras run close together in herds, all the lion sees is a mass of lines moving up and down and it makes it harder for the lion to pick out one individual. If there is one individual in the herd that does not blend in, the lion can easily pick them from the rest of the herd. A zebra with amelanism would probably only last a few days in the wild.
The Three Ring Ranch:
The reason that Zoe was taken to the Three Ring Ranch is that she would not have lived long in the wild. The Three Ring Ranch is a private sanctuary located on five acres on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was founded in 1998 and is Hawaii’s only fully accredited exotic animal sanctuary. In 2000, they became a non-profit organization and can boast that 100% of every donation goes toward animal care and education. The sanctuary is run entirely by a volunteer staff and no one makes a salary.
Some zoologist believe that when a female zebra gives birth, she will try to prevent the foal from seeing other zebras. The foal takes the pattern of it’s mother’s stripes and she is able to find her just by sight.
There have only been reports of two other White Golden Zebra’s in captivity. The first was in Germany approximately 100 years ago! The second was in a zoo in Tokyo in the 1970’s. Zoe is the only White Golden Zebra known to exist in captivity today.