Okapis are found only in the tropical forests of northeastern Zaire, Africa.
They live in dense rainforests along rivers and swamps.
Their body and long necks are brown, with whitish stripes across their legs and bottom. Their faces are grayish-tan. They are about 6-feet long and can weigh as much as 500 pounds.
They are active during the day (diurnal) but are very shy and well camouflaged, for they are rarely seen.
They eat grass, leaves, seeds, fruit, and ferns. They have long tongues like their closest relative the giraffe, which they use to hold branches so they can strip off the leaves and fruit.
Their main predator is leopard.
They live alone and only come together to mate. Females are pregnant for 12-14 months (gestation) having 1 young.
Because they are so rarely seen, no one knows how long they live in the wild, but in captivity they can live up to 30 years. They are listed as Lower Risk - near threatened.
Species: Okapia johnstoni
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Amsel, Sheri. "Okapi" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. March 22, 2023
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