species of mammal

The okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is an even-toed ungulate mammal from central Africa. With the giraffe they form the family Giraffidae.

An okapi at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Scientific classification

Lankester, 1901
Binomial name
Okapia johnstoni
(P.L. Sclater, 1901)
Range map

Appearance change

The okapi has a reddish brown body, a whitish gray face, and white and black stripes on its legs. The okapi has a few features that show its link to giraffes. Its height is not as large as giraffes.

Life change

Okapis live in the rainforests of central Africa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They are mostly active during the day. Okapis eat mostly leaves and buds from trees, but also grass, ferns, fruit, and fungi.

Okapis usually live alone. After 420 to 450 days of pregnancy the mother gives birth to one baby okapi, which drinks milk for up to 6 months. Okapis become mature when they are 4-5 years old. In captivity, okapis can live for 30 years or so.

Other information change

The okapi was unknown and a mystery to western researchers for a long time. In the past, scientists thought that the okapi was a mix between the giraffe and the zebra.

The International Society for Cryptozoology uses the okapi as its symbol, because the okapi was unknown for a long time.

Other websites change