The Okapi - profile


Surname: Okapi
Other names: Forest giraffe
Latin name: Okapia johnstoni
class: Mammals
size: up to 2m body length
mass: 130 - 250kg
Older: 10 - 20 years
Appearance: reddish-brown fur, black and white colored legs
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Leaves, grasses, fruits
distribution: Democratic Republic of Congo
original origin: Central Africa
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Rainforest
natural enemies: Leopard
sexual maturity: about the age of two
mating season: all year round
gestation: 400 - 440 days
litter size: 1 cub
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the Okapi

  • The Okapi or Okapia johnstoni describes its own genus within the giraffe-like and is known in the German area under the name "Waldgiraffe".
  • It is located only in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it lives in the north of the country in the rainforests at altitudes between five hundred to a thousand meters.
  • Okapis are very shy and terrible, so their way of life is only partially explored. This species was discovered around the year 1900 by European scientists.
  • The Okapi was formerly also in Uganda, but is now extinct there.
  • This cohort is closely related to the giraffe, but has completely different body proportions, which are more similar to those of horses.
  • The relationship between okapi and giraffe is particularly evident in the blue and extremely movable long gripping tongue, which is used for picking foliage.
  • In contrast to the giraffe, the Okapi has an insignificantly elongated neck. The most striking feature is the black and white striped legs, which stand out clearly from the reddish dark brown to black hull. The white drawing on the face stands out visually.
  • The okapi reaches a shoulder height of 1.7 meters and a body length of over two meters, the females are significantly larger than the males. Adult females can weigh up to 250 kilograms.
  • The bulls, like the giraffes, have small and hairy horns that are no more than six inches long.
  • Okapis feed exclusively on vegetable diet. Leaves and branches make up a major part of the food, in addition Okapis also eat fruits, herbs, grass and shoots.
  • They live mainly as day and occasionally nocturnal solitary and rarely join together in small groups.
  • They move in a fixed area and orient themselves in the dense jungle, especially with the help of their excellent hearing.
  • In the mating season, fierce battles often occur between male rivals, as they vigorously swing their necks against each other.
  • After a gestation period of fifteen months on average, the female gives birth to a single cub, which rises shortly after birth and, after only a few hours, follows its mother on their forays.
  • The calf is vigorously defended by its mother against leopards, the main enemies of the okapi.
  • The life expectancy in the wild is a maximum of twenty years, Okapis can be in captivity but also over thirty years old.
  • Due to the continuous destruction of the rainforests, the Okapi is one of the endangered species today.