Okapi (Okapia johnstoni)

Okapi

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Fast facts

Status Endangered

Size Head-body length 200-210cm; Height 180cm

Weight 180-320kg

Gestation 14 months

Young 1

Life span Up to 33 years

What do I eat?

Okapi are known to eat the leaves of over one hundred plant species. They use their flexible, prehensile tongues to pluck leaves from branches and pull them into their mouths.

Where do I live?

Okapis live in tropical rainforests in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Breeding

Okapis give birth to a single calf after a 14 month gestation period. An okapi calf can be on its feet and suckling within half an hour of being born. Shortly after giving birth, the mother will leave her calf in a hiding place, and only come back to it occasionally in the first two months of its life. Okapi calves double their weight in their first month!

Predators

Leopards are the main predator of okapis. The stripes on okapis’ legs and rump help to break up the outline of their body and camouflage them in the shadows of the rainforest. 

 

Conservation

The main threat facing the okapi is habitat loss, mainly due to settlement and logging. Okapis are protected under Congolese law and a significant number are found in protected areas. 

Did you know?

An okapi’s tongue is about 35cm in length, and is long enough for them to lick their own eyelids and ears.

Okapis have oily fur which makes it waterproof!

Okapis have scent glands on each foot, which leave behind a tar-like substance to show where they have been.

Okapis weren’t discovered by western scientists until 1901.

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Animal Experiences

Junior zoo keeper experience

Today I went on my junior keeper experience- that I got for my 9th birthday from my Nanny and Grandad. It was the best day ever- at the start if the day me and my Daddy went and met Hilary- she know everything there is to know about the animals and… Read full reviewMae Seager , 13th March 2016