Evaluation of Neoplasia in Zebras Species in the Wild and Under Human Care


Department of Animal Sciences

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023


There have not been many evaluations of neoplasia in zebra species in the literature. There have been reports of equine sarcoids, a result of bovine papillomavirus, in zebra in South Africa. A thorough review of zebra neoplasia in Kenya, however, has not been done. Recently, it has been reported that zebra in Kenya had sarcoids present. Sarcoids tend to be most common in the legs, head, and lips and are often diagnosed through DNA samples of affected fibroblasts. This study collated data not only to determine the occurrence of sarcoids in zebra in Kenya, but to also evaluate the prevalence of different types of neoplasia of zebras in the United States under human care. Data was collated into an oncology database (Exotic Species Cancer Research Alliance, ESCRA). The Kenyan zebra species that was most commonly affected with neoplasia was found to be the plains zebra (Equus quagga), and the most commonly reported neoplasm was reported to be a sarcoid. The most common location for zebras with sarcoids in Kenya was in the Lake Naivasha and Lake Oloiden areas. For zebras under human care in the United States, there were no reported cases of sarcoids. The most reported neoplasms were leiomyosarcomas and rhabdomyosarcomas. Additional research is ongoing to further evaluate neoplasia in wild zebras as well as those under human care.

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