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Okapia johnstoni


Okapis are found only in the tropical forests of northeastern Zaire, Africa.


They live in dense rainforests along rivers and swamps.

Body Traits

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.

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They live alone and only come together to mate. Females are pregnant for 12-14 months (gestation) having 1 young.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

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.



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Giraffidae
Genus: Okapia
Species: Okapia johnstoni

Citing Research References

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When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.

Here is an example of citing this page:

Amsel, Sheri. "Okapi" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. March 24, 2023
< > has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.