The Oklahoma City Zoo has welcomed a new addition to its family – a rare and ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ okapi calf. The birth of this young Okapi is a momentous occasion for the Zoo and the conservation community.
Okapis Are A Unique Species Of Mammal
The Okapi, also known as the forest giraffe, Congo giraffe, or zebra giraffe, is a type of Arodactyl mammal found only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in northeastern Central Africa.
While they may resemble giraffes, they are more closely related to zebras.
The male calf was the first to be born to Kayin, 6, and Bosomi, 4; the seventh okapi calf was held at the Zoo. Kayin, the most recent Okapi born at OKC Zoo, was born in 2015.
The baby calf looks exactly like its mother with its cute innocent face and signature striped thighs!
The Calf Is Plump And Healthy!
Kayin, the mother of Okapi, is a compassionate first-time mother. She barely takes her eyes off her newborn baby, even momentarily.
Her new calf is healthy and strong, reaching major developmental milestones such as parenting and bonding with its mother.
The calf stood and nursed an hour after birth, according to caregivers. The calf’s health was examined by the Zoo’s veterinary care team, which checked its overall body condition, stats, and weight, which had reached nearly 57 pounds at the time.
According to Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, the Zoo’s curator of hoofstock and megafauna, “The birth of this okapi calf is a remarkable achievement for the Oklahoma City Zoo and our partners in the Okapi SSP.
We are thrilled to contribute to the conservation of this ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ species, and we look forward to watching this calf grow and thrive.”
A Significant Event For Both The Zoo And The Conservation Community
Unfortunately, okapis face several ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛs in their natural habitat, including habitat ʟᴏss and ᴘᴏᴀᴄʜɪɴɢ.
As a result, they are listed as ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛᴇɴᴇᴅ Species.
The birth of this okapi calf at the Oklahoma City Zoo is a significant event for both the Zoo and the conservation community.
It is a testament to the successful captive breeding programs to help conserve this species.
The birth of this rare and ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ okapi calf is a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and the role that zoos play in protecting ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ species.
Through collaborative breeding programs and public education, zoos are helping to ensure a future for species like the Okapi, which are at ʀɪsᴋ of ᴅɪsᴀᴘᴘᴇᴀʀɪɴɢ from the wild.