Wildlife Species of the Week

Okapi (Okapia johnstoni)

Okapi is a shy solitary, elusive diurnal mammal. A cud-chewing hoofed mammal that belongs to the family Giraffidae alongside giraffe. This herbivore serves as the flagship species for the conservation of Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, only place it can be found in the world.
It has a special behavioural pattern in which its hooves secrete sticky territorial markings, while males also spray their territory with urine. It lives among dense cover and browses on leaves, fungi, and fruit.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species considers the okapi an endangered species. Ecologists estimate that fewer than 4,500 individuals live in the wild and that the population fell by more than 40 percent between 1995 and 2007.