Okapia – Okapi

The mysterious forest zebra is the closest living relative of the giraffe

Okapis are not as tall as a giraffe, and their necks are much shorter, but their long-prehensile tongues, ruminating stomachs, and ossicones in males are just like their cousins!

The body is covered with dark reddish-brown velvety waterproof fur and a rump with ‘follow me’ stripes. This 300 kg (660 pounds) animal was unidentified until the 20th century – it was first discovered in Africa in 1901.

The Ituri forest of the D.R. Congo is home to Okapi. They prefer primary and older secondary forests with a high canopy. No data is available on their current population size, and even sample sizes are inadequate for statistical analysis. Recent numbers are believed to be low and declining; they are at risk.