Rare okapi calf ventures outside

ZSL London Zoo’s newest arrival has been lured out by the gorgeous sunshine covering the capital city this summer.

Following a 14-month gestation period, the 10 week-old female okapi born on April 25, has started to gain some independence and venture away from mum Elila into their paddock to snack on the leaves growing on the plants outside.

Standing at about four feet tall, and covered in a glossy, deep brown fur, with striking zebra-like legs, Daphne, a perfect miniature of her elegant mother and father Mbuti, is already drawing admiring gasps from visitors at ZSL London Zoo.

Okapi Calf

(c) Russ Winch

Little is known about okapis in the wild – a type of forest giraffe found only in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - because of their incredibly elusive nature, and the species was only formally described in 1901 by scientists from the Zoological Society of London, which runs ZSL London Zoo.

The Zoological Society of London is leading efforts to better understand the okapi’s conservation status and help protect them in the wild, where they are under threat from poaching, habitat loss and disturbance by militia groups as a result of the ongoing civil conflict in DRC. See our okapi project page for more information.

Visitors can see Daphne enjoying the sunshine with mum Elila at ZSL London Zoo now.

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