Okapi Okapia johnstoni
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.
Order: Artiodactyla* (or Cetartiodactyla) (even-toed hoofed animals: includes pigs, sheep goats, cattle, deer)
Family: Giraffidae (giraffes and the okapi)
Species: Okapi johnstoni - okapi
Males: 180-260 kg (397-573 lb)
Females: 240-356 kg (529 - 785 lb)
Males: 1.40-1.55 m (4.6-5.1 ft)
Females: 1.42-1.59 m (4.7-5.2 ft)
2.5 m (8 ft) average for both sexes
30-42 cm (12-17 in)
Reddish-brown to black; velvety on body; more gray and white on face. Horizontal white or creamy stripes on legs; anklets and stockings present.
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Closed, high canopy forests
Endangered (2015 assessment)
Fully protected species under Congolese law
Population in Wild
Rapid rate of population since the 1980s.
Difficult to assess population sizes due to political unrest and presence of illegal armed groups in/around protected areas.
Pacing gait; legs on one side move forward together.
Active during the day and at night.
Much of the day spent feeding and resting.
Solitary much of the time.
Exceptions: during breeding and mothers with calves.
Selectly feed on plants growing in sun. Consume leaves, fruits, seeds, ferns; also fungi.
Adults: humans, leopards
Young: humans, serval and golden cats
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Females: 1-2 years
Males: from 2 years
About 440 days (14 months)
14-30 kg (30-66 lb)
Age at Weaning
Around 6 months old, but young suckle up to a year
- Shy animals
- Closest living relatives of the okapi are giraffes
- Long, dark blue, prehensile tongue; use it to pull leaves off branches
- Courtship of females by males is unobstrusive and cautious
- Long gestation: 14 months
- While feedng, mothers leave infants alone for extended periods
- Experiencing drastic declines due to habitat loss and poaching
- Admired in zoos around the world
© 2009 San Diego Zoo Global. Updates to Population & Conservation Status 2017.
How to cite: Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) Fact Sheet, 2009. c2009-2017. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/okapi
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to email@example.com.