The okapi is an eye-catching animal that resembles a cross between a zebra and a giraffe. In fact, it’s the closest living relative to a giraffe. The okapi is endemic to the Congo and lives a mostly solitary life in the country’s dense forests.
The okapi and the giraffe are the only living members of the family Giraffidae.It has a long neck, and large, flexible ears. Its coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs and white ankles.
Sadly, hunting and deforestation have halved the okapi’s population in the past decade, keeping this beautiful animal on the endangered species list.
Major threats include habitat loss due to logging and human settlement. Extensive hunting for bushmeat and skin and illegal mining have also led to a decline in populations.