Okapi’s existence was only confirmed and accepted by western science in the 20th century. At first, scientists thought it was some kind of forest dwelling zebra, because of the stripes on its legs, but now it is known to be the closest and only living relative to the giraffe! Just like the giraffe, the Okapi is an usually peaceful vegetarian with a very long, bluish gray tongue that comes in handy to clean its eyes, ears and nostrils… both inside and out. Adult Okapis are about 2 meters tall at the shoulder; that’s much smaller than the giraffe, but they are still one of the largest animals in the African rainforests. Seldom seen and rarely displayed in zoos, the Okapi is only found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, although it was likely more widespread in ancient times.


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