When you look at this picture of the okapi, what other animal comes to mind? At first glance I would think it is related to the zebra because of the stripes on the legs and hindquarters, but I would be wrong. Can you make a guess?
Would you believe they are related to the giraffe? Their heads are shaped kind of alike and they have very acute hearing. Another similarity to the giraffe would be their long, black tongues which aid them to reach up to obtain leaves from higher branches. Their stripes are a good camouflage mimicking the way the sun shines through the spaces of the woodland underbrush.
They are solitary animals that spend their time during the day looking for food, and eat up to 65 pounds a day of leaves, twigs and fruit. Sometimes they eat clay and burnt charcoal, perhaps to supply needed minerals.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is where the okapi make their home in tropical forests. They are only about 5 ft. tall and weigh anywhere from 440 to over 700 pounds. Their lifespan is 20-30 years.
Information about the okapi can be found at The San Diego Zoo, Wikipedia, a-z animals, and the Rainforest Alliance.
This is Day 15 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.