News Irish News

Saturday 24 February 2018

Mysterious okapis turn heads at Dublin Zoo

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

WHAT has black-and-white stripes like a zebra, but can strip leaves like a giraffe? Answer: the latest arrival at Dublin Zoo.

The okapis are causing visitors' heads to pivot as they are seen in Ireland for the first time.

The okapis largely remain a mystery: they are native to the Ituri Rainforest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and scientists only learned of them in 1900.

The animal has horizontal white stripes on its hindquarters and at the top of its legs, reminiscent of a zebra's markings.

Their natural habitat has been endangered due to deforestation and hunting, which means the numbers left in the wild are declining rapidly.

The first okapis in Ireland – Kamba (14) and Kitabu (6), both males – arrived from Rotterdam Zoo this month and are settling into their new habitat.

Director of Dublin Zoo, Leo Oosterveghel, welcomed them as a "wonderful addition" to the zoo.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News