The Houston Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a baby Okapi. The yet-to-be-named male calf was born on November 6 and has been thriving under the care of his mother, Tulia.
The pair will continue to bond behind the scenes for the next several weeks. This is the first successful birth of a baby Okapi at the zoo.
Okapis are also known as the “forest giraffe” and are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Since 2013, the species has been classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due to habitat destruction and poaching.
Zebra and giraffe live in herds, but Okapi usually live alone in the forest. Sometimes a mother will live with its one calf until the calf is grown. Like giraffes, Okapi have long tongues they use for plucking leaves, buds, and branches from trees to eat. Okapi are solitary creatures that hide in the dense forest where they live. They were not discovered until 1901. Okapi need thick rainforests to live, but their homes are being cut down. People are working to protect the rainforests to make sure Okapi have the food, water, and shelter they need to survive.
More amazing pics below the fold!