POPSUGAR Pets

Have You Ever Seen an Okapi?

Jul 17 2009 - 4:00pm

This baby was recently born at the Denver Zoo — she's an Okapi named Kalispell. (Collective "awww.") Not only is she absolutely adoro, she's a mix of two unlikely species. Learn all about this rare animal when you get started.

A What?

Originally a cross between zebras and giraffes, the Okapi (oh-COP-ee) was only known by natives of the Ituri Forest until officially "discovered" by scientists about 100 years ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A Mix of Both

It's actually the only living relative of the giraffe [1].Those spindly legs and oversized ears remind me of a giraffe where those stripes have zebra written all over them!

Very Rare

It's not known how many exist in the wild (probably about 25,000 in the wild), but there are only 89 currently alive in captivity.

Nestled Safe and Sound

She's currently gaining strength and stability with those spindly legs indoors. In the wild, they are browsers, eating 40 to 65 pounds of leaves, twigs, and fruits each day but, in captivity, usually dine on alfalfa hay, leafy acacia branches, and healthy veggies.

Hang Close to Mama

Zookeepers are carefully monitoring Kalispell's progress as she becomes more self-sufficient and predict her public zoo debut soon!

Ever Seen or Heard of Okapis?

Want to impress someone even more, tell them all about this giraffid artiodactyl mammal — and now 'fess up: have you ever seen or heard of this creature before?


Source URL
http://www.petsugar.com/Have-You-Ever-Seen-Okapi-3515290