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Animal news
September 2, 2019

Rare okapi born

The first weeks after birth okapis remained in the maternity stall.
Watch Kisala live via webcams

Update September 10th: The newborn okapi is called … Kisala. The zookeepers named her after her grandfather Kiburi and grandmother Lisala. The young regularly hops through the stable, as you can see on the webcams.

An okapi was born on 2 September 2019 at 11.49 am. It is a female. Mother Kamina and daughter are doing well. The young has no name yet. This is the third okapi birth in the new Congo region.

Pregnancy in okapis lasts 15 months. Mother, Kamina, was also born in Rotterdam Zoo. Okapis remain uncommon in zoos. Rotterdam has had a long history with the species, the first ones arrived in 1957. At that time little was known about this mysterious animal that was only discovered by Europeans in the previous century.

From the start, Rotterdam was successful in breeding okapis. The endangered okapi belongs to the giraffe family and is sometimes called the Forest giraffe. This shy species is only found in the impenetrable rain forest of the Congo where it is threatened by poaching and deforestation. They have a beautiful soft brown coat with a unique white stripe pattern on their rump. Rotterdam Zoo helps wild okapis be supporting the work of the Okapi Conservation Project in the Congo.