Endangered Okapi species grows with new birth in Italy

Special Birth: An endangered African wild cub has been born in an italian zoo. The young cub, only a few weeks old, is in its enclosure, cared for by its mother

At the Italian zoo of Falconara Marittima, the staff recently welcomed an extraordinary newborn. The youngster’s head closely resembles that of a giraffe, while its legs are marked with zebra-like stripes.

The animal in question is an Okapi, an African mammal native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This newborn is the second offspring of the okapis Elani and Dayo.

The couple had previously welcomed Italy‘s first okapi in 2022, aptly named Italo. Now, they have a new addition, although the sex of the young okapi is yet to be determined and will be announced later by the zoo staff.

For the first two months, the newcomer will remain in its enclosure, nurtured by its loving mother. After this period, the okapi will be introduced to the public in the dedicated area for these mammals, to the delight of visitors and the facility.

The okapi, scientifically known as Okapia johnstoni, belongs to the Giraffidae family. Often referred to as the “forest giraffe,” okapis naturally inhabit the forests along the Congo River. Historically, they were also found in Uganda, but no longer exist there.

This majestic animal can grow up to 2 meters in height and weigh more than 250 kg. Unfortunately, the okapi is classified globally as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The birth of a cub is always good news for the conservation of endangered species, provided that births occur in their natural habitat or as part of reintroduction programs rather than in zoos.

Source: Parco zoo di Falconara/Facebook

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