The zookeepers were surprised this week when they entered the enclosure of heavily pregnant okapi M’buti. The rare forest giraffe was already about to give birth! According to the observed coverage, it was only calculated in December. So there have been earlier (hidden) matings. The birth went well and mother and young are doing well. It is a female for whom the caretakers will come up with a beautiful name. Zookeeper Kim took the first photos.
Another young was born in September to Kamina, M’buti’s mother. This young, named Kisala, has already exchanged the safe maternity stable for the inner garden and can be seen there regularly.
The newest young will remain behind the scenes for the time being, but can be admired via the webcams. In the okapi residence there is also a screen where you can “peep” at the little one in the maternity stable. Newborn okapis are “nesters”. The mother leaves them in a safe place and only returns to care. The youngsters spend the days sleeping and drinking.
Update Dec. 7th 2019:
And we call her … Mhina! The newborn okapi (born Nov. 26) has received this beautiful African name from the caretakers. A reference to her grandmother Kamina. Mhina means “delightful” and that is also for the caregivers, a beautiful okapi 😉 Follow Mhina and mother M’buti live via the webcams in the maternity stable where they are staying for the time being. Her niece Kisala (Sept. 2) regularly goes on an adventure in the courtyard where you can admire her.