Okapi

FaunaFocus

Joined September 2018

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The okapi (Okapia johnstoni,) is the closest living relative to the giraffe and shares many similarities with the long-necked animal, including a long, violet-black tongue and an elongated neck that help it reach the foliage from trees and shrubs. Nicknamed the “forest giraffe,” this unusual ungulate is endemic to the central forests of Africa and are shy, elusive creatures that prefer to hide away in solitary in the jungle’s dense vegetation. Because of their reclusive lifestyle, much of what is known about okapis has been observed in zoos. Listed as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, okapi face threats from habitat disturbance and hunting.

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