Saturday, March 20, 2010

Camera Critters: Okapi

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a Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) in the London Zoo. Okapis are related to giraffes, but live not on the open grasslands, but in the African rainforests. There, their stripes and dark fur will make them vanish from sight and they don't need such a long neck. Their tongue is very long (and a nice shade of purple), up to 18 inches, similar to those of a giraffe.
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here's a pair, you can tell the male from the female by his small horns. Those are called ossicones and are another feature okapis share with giraffes. They were unknown in Europe until 1901 and today, they are still rarely seen in zoos. Many were imported after their "discovery", but died due to the stress of capture and transport and captive breeding wasn't successful until 1957. In the wild, they are threatened by loss of habitat.

This is a Camera Critters post

8 comments:

chubskulit said...

So sweet!

My Camera Critters post, have a nice Saturday morning.

wenn said...

interesting info!

Babooshka said...

Love the two heads one way shot, and such and informative post.

Snap said...

I love Okapi's ... one of my favorite animals at our zoo.

siromade08 said...

Terrific photo and very informative

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Great zoo pics.

Nikki-ann said...

I don't think I've seen these before. They look like a cross between a giraffe, a horse and a zebra! Great shots :)

Jenny said...

Wow, these are really cool creatures... I hadn't heard of them before! Great photos. :)

Jenny Fast (aka Superwife)