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Safari Africa Animal Fact Sheet
Okapia johnstoni

Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ituri Forest). Although okapis have stripes like zebras, they are actually most closely related to giraffes. These large hoofed mammals were not known to science until 1901, probably because of their secretive lifestyle. They live a quiet life in the lush rainforest. Their velvety dark striped coats create an almost perfect camouflage in the low light of the forest understory. And their keen hearing helps them detect predators at a far distance. Okapis browse on a diverse diet of leafy vegetation.

Habitat destruction has been the greatest threat to okapis. In 1992, the Democratic Republic of the Congo set aside a portion of its Ituri Forest as a preserve for these and other threatened wildlife. But the species is still in trouble, and is among those animals that winds up victim to the illegal trade in "bushmeat".

The Okapi Habitat is Sponsored By:

The L.V. Thompson Family Foundation

Habitat: Dense Rainforest.
Diet: They feed primarily on the leaves, buds, and shoots of more than 100 different species of forest vegetation. Many of the plant species fed upon by the okapi are known to be poisonous to humans. Additionally, okapis eat grasses, fruits, ferns, and fungi.
Status: Endangered (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult:

Height:Over 6 feet at the head and 5 feet at the shoulder.
Weight:440 to 660 lbs.

Lifespan: 30 years in captivity, but data from wild populations is unavailable.
Reproduction & Offspring: Newborn okapis weigh 14-30 kg at birth. They nurse after 21 minutes and stand after just 30 minutes.


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