The Okapi, a living relative of the giraffe, is an endangered animal and is listed on the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Habitat loss and illegal hunting have caused a decline in their population by 50% over the past 20 years.
The Okapi is a rare animal, making it difficult to spot in the wild.
Therefore, the birth of an Okapi calf is a cause for celebration. Chester Zoo had the fortune of welcoming a newborn Okapi named Nia Nia at the end of last year.
“The arrival of a newborn okapi is a significant event, as they are extremely rare and unique,” Sarah Roffe, the team manager responsible for the okapis at the zoo, said.
A 7-year-old female Okapi named K’tusha and a 17-year-old male Okapi named Stomp have given birth to a rare calf at the Chester zoo. The calf has recently taken its first steps outside and has zebra-like stripes on its back legs, similar to its mother, which help it follow her in the forest and hide from predators.
The naming of the baby Okapi has a significant history. It was named after a village called Nia Nia in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is the only country in the world where the animal is found in the wild.
Moreover, Okapis are considered the national symbol of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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