A rare and endangered okapi was born at the Cincinnati Zoo
(CNN) — A member of a rare and endangered species related to the giraffe was recently born at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, according to zoo officials.
The okapi, which zoo officials announced was male, was born on December 17 to parents Kofua and Kiloro, according to the British Daily Mail. press release.
“This is Kovoa’s fourth calf and she is an amazing mother,” Renee Carpenter, head ranger at the Cincinnati Zoo, said in the statement. “She takes care of all the baby's needs. The calf is strong and looks healthy. She is also super soft and fluffy.”
The mother and baby will continue to bond behind the scenes through the winter, and visitors will be able to see them in the zoo's Okapi Plaza by spring, according to zoo officials.
The baby okapi is the 18th born at the Cincinnati Zoo since 1989. There are approximately 15,000 okapis worldwide, the zoo estimates. Habitat destruction and poaching have devastated the population of this species.
Okapis appear in the form of… In danger of extinction On the Red List of Threatened Species issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
These animals, native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are the closest relatives of the giraffe. The species shares a similar body structure, but okapis have shorter necks.
It is also characterized by its reddish-brown color with black and white horizontal stripes on its four legs.
“These unique markings help the cubs follow their mothers through the dense forest,” the zoo statement said.
Okapi can reach 2.4 meters in length Lives up to 16 yearsAccording to the zoo.