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Houston Zoo Welcome Endangered Okapi

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: July 21, 2020 11:10 pm

okapi calf houston

Photo Credit: Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo has a new baby okapi born on July 19th to mother Sukari. The okapi is a close relative of the giraffe with a dark brown body and stripes which resemble those of a zebra across their legs.

Native to the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo they are nicknamed the forest giraffe.

Unlike the well known giraffe they are incredibly rare and found in limited areas of Central Africa. The okapi was only described for science in 1901.

The calf was born at 3pm. Within an hour of its birth it was up and moving around the okapi yard where it was born. Keepers are yet to determine the gender of the calf.

Along with breeding okapi to support the captive population, Houston Zoo provide funding to the Okapi Conservation Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The okapi is listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. They are threatened by mining in their habitat with a particular threat being presented by coltan mining. This metal is used in phones and recycling your phone reduces the need to mine these helping the okapi. A population was previously found in Uganda though this is now extinct.

Learn more about the Okapi here – Okapi | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Houston Zoo on their website – Houston Zoo

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