A scent gland on each foot leaves behind a sticky, tar-like substance wherever they have walked, marking their territory. By checking the ground, an okapi can tell if another okapi has been there. Normally silent, female okapis vocalize only when they are ready to breed.
Okapi newborns can stand up within 30 minutes of birth and nurse for the first time within an hour of birth.
At the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, okapis are fed alfalfa hay and pellets, leafy acacia branches, carrots, and yams.
The okapi (pronounced oh-COP-ee) is a beautiful and unusual animal.
With its white-and-black striped hindquarters and front legs, it looks like it must be related to zebras!
Like a giraffe, the okapi has very large, upright ears, which catch even slight sounds, helping the animal avoid trouble.
The okapi also has a long, dark, prehensile tongue, just like a giraffe’s, to help it strip the buds and young leaves from the understory brush of its rain forest home. Their natural habitat is the Ituri Forest, a dense rain forest in central Africa.
Okapis have also been seen eating clay and burnt charcoal, probably for minerals.