Okapi: All Information About This Amazing Animal!

Kingdom  Animalia
Genus  Okapia  

Classification of Okapi

The Okapi is a shy, herbivorous animal that lives in a small area of central Africa’s tropical mountain forest. So, what is an okapi? Even though the Okapi looks like a deer, it is one of the last living relatives of the Giraffe. Moreover, you must know that Giraffe is the tallest animal on Earth. The most noticeable thing about the Okapi is its horizontal stripes, which are most visible on its back and make it look almost like a Zebra.

It also has a neck that is longer than the rest of its body. The Okapi is a shy and secretive animal. They are so shy that western scientists didn’t recognize them as a separate species until the 20th century. Even though people rarely see Okapis, they are not on the list of endangered species because they are very common in deep conservation areas.

What Does Okapi Look Like?

Like its distant and much bigger ancestor, the Okapi has a long neck that helps it reach higher leaves and gives it a way to defend itself and its territory. The Okapi animal has a reddish-brown coat of fur with white stripes that run horizontally on the back of its legs and the tops of its hind legs. These stripes help the Okapi hide in the dense jungle.

They have white ankles with dark spots above each hoof, and their skin is very thick to keep them from getting hurt. The Okapi has a body with a long head and a dark muzzle. Its large ears are set back, which makes it easy for it to hear predators coming. The Okapi also has a long, black tongue that can grab leaves from above branches. The Okapi is one of the strangest animals in the world because of how it looks.

How Does Okapi Reproduce?

The female Okapi gives birth to a single calf after a pregnancy that can last up to 16 months. She does this in a thick area of plants. Like many herbivores with hooves, an Okapi calf can usually stand on its own within 30 minutes. The mother and calf then start to look for a good place to nest. They stay in their nest for most of the next two months, which helps the calf grow faster and keeps it safe from hungry predators.

Even though the female Okapi will protect and feed her young. But they are as close as many other hoofed mammals are to their young. Moreover, they get their white stripes at a fairly young age. Besides, young Okapi doesn’t reach their full adult size until they are about three years old. Most of the time, they are weaned when they are about six months old. But some may still nurse for more than a year.

What Do Okapis Eat?

The Okapi is a plant-eating animal, which means that it only eats plants to stay alive. After pulling them into their mouths with their long, sticky tongues, they eat berries, fruits, etc. Moreover, they eat other plant parts and leaves, shoots, and twigs. The Okapi will sometimes eat fungi. Besides it eats more than 100 different kinds of plants. Many of which are poisonous to other animals and people.

The Okapi animal eats a wide range of plants, but it is also known to eat a reddish clay that gives it important salt and minerals to add to its plant-based diet. The Okapi spends most of the day looking for food. To make it easier to get away from predators, it walks quietly along paths it has used many times before.


Where Do Okapis Live?


The Okapi is an animal that lives in the dense tropical rainforests of the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It usually lives between 500 and 1,000 meters above sea level, but most people think that most of them lives between 800 and 1,000 meters above sea level. They are very shy and hard to find, and they depend on the thick vegetation around them to keep them safe from being seen by predators.

The Okapi can are present in places with slow-moving freshwater sources, but its range is minimal by natural barriers. On all four sides, these animals are present in the Ituri Rainforest, which is 63,000 square kilometers in size. The Okapi Wildlife Reserve (a World Heritage Site) now makes up about 20% of the rainforest. Even though they are common in their home area, the Okapi is in danger due to habitat loss, especially from cutting down trees.

Facts About Okapi?

So, do you know what is a okapi? One thing that makes the Okapi and the Giraffe stand out is that they both have long tongues that can grab onto leaves and branches. Okapi’s tongues also help them clean themselves. The Okapi’s tongue is so long that it is said to be one of the few animals in the world that can lick its own ear.

 Even though Okapis are rare and shy, they are present in these forests. Most of the time, one can see them from behind, so many people gave the name “Forest Zebras.” The Okapi wasn’t recognized as a separate species until 1900 or 1901 when Harry Johnston sent two Zebra-like skin to London for studies. This is the reason for the discovery of a new species.

Behavior of Okapi

The Okapi is a diurnal animal, which means that it is most active during the day. It spends most of its time searching for food along set paths in the forest. They live alone, except when the mothers are with their young, but they can get along with other animals and will sometimes eat together in small groups for a short time.

Okapis’ home ranges overlap, but males tend to live in a bigger areas than females. They mark their territory by rubbing their necks on trees and with urine. Males fight with each other with their necks over territory and try to get a female to mate with them during the breeding season. Okapis are also known to make quiet “chuff” sounds like talking to each other. They rely heavily on their hearing in the forest, where they can’t see very far.

Okapi Predators

Because the Okapi animal lives in a remote area of mountain rainforest, it doesn’t have as many common predators as other species that live in similar environments. The Okapi’s main enemy is the Leopard, which is one of the biggest and strongest cats in the world and spends a lot of time sleeping in the trees.

The Okapi’s sharp hearing would be able to hear other predators moving through the undergrowth. Still, the Leopard’s position above ground means that it can both look around for potential prey and also sneak up on it from above. Servals and people who hunt in the area are also predators of the Okapi, but deforestation is the biggest threat to the Okapi population around the world.

Okapi IUCN Status

The IUCN has put the Okapi on a list of animals that are Near Threatened with extinction in their natural environment, even though they are thought to be fairly common in their small range.

This is because more and more trees are being cut down in parts of Okapi’s natural habitat, and they are also getting caught in snares and other traps set by people to catch other animals. Since 1933, the Okapi has protection by law in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a name of Zaire. The last time the IUCN counted, there were between 10,000 and 35,000 wild Okapis.

Okapi FAQs


How Fast Is An Okapi?

The fastest Okapi can go 37 miles per hour.

What Are The Key Differences Between Okapis And Zebras?

The main ways in which okapis and zebras are different are in their size, appearance, habitat, predators, diet, and behavior.

What Are The Key Differences Between Okapis And Giraffes?

The main differences between okapis and giraffes are their size, how they look, where they live, who eats them, what they eat, and how they act.

Are Okapis Herbivores, Carnivores, Or Omnivores?

The Okapi is a herbivore, which means it eats plants.

What Type Of Covering Do Okapis Have?

Okapis have fur all over them.

What Is The Lifespan Of An Okapi?

The life span of an okapi is 20 to 30 years.

What Is Another Name For The Okapi?

The forest zebra is another name for the Okapi.

How Many Okapis Are Left In The World?

There are still 22,000 Okapis on the planet.

Where do Okapis Live?

They live in Central Africa.

What Is An Interesting Fact About Okapis?

An Okapi eats more than 100 different kinds of plants.

What Is The Scientific Name For The Okapi?

Okapia johnstoni is the scientific name for the Okapi.

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