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World Okapi Day

October 18, 2016

World Okapi Day

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Kaitlyn Keys Kaitlyn Keys

October 18th marks the very first World Okapi Day.  

The event was created to bring awareness to this magnificent species.

The elusive okapi (Okapi johnstoni) is endemic to the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). When people first see an okapi, they instantly think they must be related to zebras because of their striped coat pattern. However, this is not the case; they are actually related to the giraffe and are commonly referred to as the “forest giraffe”.  Like the zebra, their striped coats allow them to easily camouflage in their heavily forested surroundings.

Sadly, okapis are declining in the wild due to illegal logging, mining, hunting, and agriculture. Conservationists are working tirelessly to protect the okapi and their environment through many ways, including: training specialized law enforcement rangers, deforestation projects, educational programs, and the continued monitoring of okapi populations.

You can do something simple to help protect okapi – recycle your old cell phones. Cell phones contain coltan, a mineral mined in the forest of the DRC. Recycling your phones could mean less mining in okapi habitat.

To learn more about World Okapi Day, go to Okapi Conservation Project. And visit the Bronx Zoo’s okapi at the Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit.

Nikon D2


, Democratic Republic of Congo Map It

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1 comment

Deborah H
October 18, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Thanks for the wonderful articles on different species of animals.