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Okapi

Okapi

Good work. You've correctly chosen the okapi (Okapia johnstoni).

Looks kind of like a zebra, or maybe a horse, right? Well, the okapi is actually more closely related to the giraffe! Like the giraffe, the okapi has a very long tongue that can reach out and pull tender new leaves off forest trees (it can even use its tongue to groom its ears!). The males in both species also have skin-covered horns.

The okapi isn't nearly as tall as the giraffe. It only stands about 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall. It's also a very hard to study because its stripes and dark color help to hide it in the forest and its quick speed allows it to make a fast getaway whenever it senses danger.

The rain forests in northern Zaire are the okapi's main habitat, where this animal mostly roams alone and is protected by the government. Still, the okapi faces threats from commercial poaching and habitat loss due to increased human settlement. Most okapis seen in zoos have been obtained from captive breeding programs rather than having been taken from the wild.

Continue: name animal #2.


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