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Okapi - Unique and Mysterious Animal

Updated on March 31, 2013

Okapi - Unique and Mysterious Animal

The Okapi is one of the most unique animals I've ever seen. I first discovered the Okapi during my trip to the San Diego Zoo in California. Until then, I had never even heard of the Okapi much less seen one. Okapis are hard to find in the wild and were only discovered by scientist in 1900's.

At first glance, one would assume that the Okapi is related to the Zebra because of its Zebra like stripes. However, the Okapi is the only living relative of the giraffe. The Okapi Wildlife Reserve, with support from the San Diego Zoo and other zoos and conservation organizations, continues to protect and support the study of this rare and unique animal.

15 Facts About The Okapi

1. Okapis were discovered by scientists in 1900.

2. Okapis are the only living relative of the giraffe.

3. The fur on an Okapi is oily and feels like velvet.

4. Okapis travel up to a half mile a day in search of food.

5. Okapis are most active during the afternoon through the evening.

6. Okapis eat about 40 to 65 pounds of leaves, twigs, and fruits each day.

7. Okapis mark their territory by leaving a behind a sticky, tar-like substance, which comes from a scent gland on each foot. Males also mark their territory by spraying their urine.

8. Only the male Okapis have horns.

9. Okapi newborns can stand up within 30 minutes of birth.

10. In 1952, 1/5 of Okapi habitat in Africa's Ituri Forest was set aside as a wildlife reserve.

11. The average life span of an Okapi is 20-30 years.

12. The average height of an Okapi is 5 feet. The average weight is 400-600 pounds.

13. Leopards are their natural predators.

14. The Okapi's tongue is so long that that are able to clean their ears with it.

15. An Okapi weighs about 35 pounds at birth.

Okapi Videos

The Okapi is a fascinating animal. They look like a combination of a horse, zebra and giraffe. The Okapi is the only living relative of the giraffe.

Stop! Please Answer The Poll!

Before reading this lens did you know what an Okapi was?

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A great educational book for teaching children about the beautiful Okapi.

Okapi - San Diego Zoo

Okapi - San Diego Zoo
Okapi - San Diego Zoo

Okapi - A ruminant forest mammal of the Congo River basin in Africa

Okapi - A ruminant forest mammal of the Congo River basin in Africa
Okapi - A ruminant forest mammal of the Congo River basin in Africa

Okapi Fun Facts

The average height of an Okapi is 5 feet.

The average weight of an Okapi is 400-600 pounds.

The average life span of an Okapi is 20-30 years.

It's hard to believe that this unique animal was only discovered by scientists in the 1900's!

Stop! Please Answer The Poll

Have you ever seen a Okapi in the wild or at the Zoo?

See results

Okapi Books - Great books for teaching children about the Okapi.

Okapi - San Diego Zoo

Okapi - San Diego Zoo
Okapi - San Diego Zoo

Okapi Products

Okapi mugs, posters, stickers, shirts and more.

Click on any product to purchase from Zazzle.

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    • profile image

      AnnaleeBlysse 5 years ago

      What an interesting animal!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      What adorable creatures. I love those little plush okapi toys. You just got yourself another ~*~* angel blessing *~*~ :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      I have returned with wings to bless this lovely report on the Okapi. Great stuff and thanks for blessings on my lenses. Blessed and featured on Sprinkled with StardustNorma

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      What a fabulous animal and no, I did not know about them before. Great topic and interesting lens with good presentation. Lens rolled to Save Planet EarthNorma

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      ps: Angel Blessed and added to my Squid Angel Mouse Tracks lens!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      I have always thought they were beautiful! Excellent subject for a lens. I had to laugh at the image of their tongues cleaning their own ears though. I don't believe I knew they had that ability :)

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      How amazing that they remained hidden for so long! Nice lens.

    • profile image

      shops 7 years ago

      Cute Lens!

    • profile image

      Nique- 7 years ago

      Thanks for including my okapi t-shirt designs! Great job on the lens!