Skip to Main Content
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Okapi Okapia johnstoni

Managed Care Husbandry

  • Okapis breed readily in managed care, but rearing of calves has been historically problematic.
    • Until the 1950s, roughly 50% died during the 1st month
  • Antwerp Zoo was the first zoo to exhibit the okapi to visitors (1919)
    • First okapi to survive in managed care also at Antwerp Zoo in 1928; she lived 15 more years.
  • A male okapi named Congo came to the Bronx Zoo in 1937 and lived for 15 years.
  • Common in many large zoos; currently being bred to maintain numbers; difficult to keep because of delicate health
  • Managed care okapi population in North American zoos has 25 founders; in Europe there are 23 founders.
  • Baruiti was born at the San Diego Zoological Park in 1962.

How to Train an Okapi

Learn how the San Diego Zoo's mammal keepers use behavior training to keep okapis healthy.

© San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Home Sweet Stable Home

Okapi calf at San Diego Zoo Safari Park stable

An okapi calf in its indoor stable stall at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Gijzen & Smet (1974)
Species360 (formerly ISIS)

SDZWA Library Links