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If you’re packing for a safari in the Serengeti, you may want to avoid stripes. And not because they’ll make your butt look big…

Take this zebra, for example.

We thought it was odd that this zebra was by herself, since this was migration season when there are herds of zebra and wildebeest grazing en masse on the Serengeti. Thinking a solitary zebra would make for an interesting photograph for exactly this reason, we stopped and got our cameras ready. It was at this point we noticed a discernible limp when the zebra moved – clearly she was favouring a hind leg injury of some kind.  We understood then why this particular zebra, unable to keep up with the herd, was left on her own.

We also realized that come dark, she probably wouldn’t be alone for long. Her unique pattern of stripes may help her foal identify her in a crowd, but with no high grasses to blend with, those stripes made her a sitting duck for lions.

This of course, is nature’s way: for every weak link in the food chain, there is another younger, or stronger one, waiting to take its place.

Which made me think that next time I visit Africa, I’ll choose to wear patterns that are inspired by predators, not their prey.

Next time I'll choose leopard spots!

Next time I’ll choose leopard spots!

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