Monday, September 8, 2008

Is It a Giraffe or a Zebra?

One more unique species was found. A conservation team unintentionally found this strange animal that physically resembled a giraffe and a zebra. This animal named Okapi. This animal was found in the Virunga National Park, Congo, Africa. In fact this animal has been suspected its existence since 1959. However because this animal was rarely seen so its difficult in the detection.

The latest survey that was carried out by WWF and the Institute Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) succeeded in finding 17 Okapis track. This means that Okapi was really exist, but its populations was difficult to be met.

This animal had a latin name Okapia Johnstoni, this mammal was an Ituri rainforest endemic, Africa. Although its black and white stripes on its body was similar to a zebra, the scientist said that Okapi more allied with a giraffe. The Okapi existence was rarely known by people outside Kongo. Just in 1901, several environment observers found it, but that still very few.

Okapis base color was black and white stripes on its back leg. From a far distance at first glance Okapi was similar to a zebra. This stripes functioned as a camouflage against predator.

Its body shape was similar to a giraffe, but with a shorter neck. Other Okapi typical characteristics was its tongue was blue and very long. Be long enough and could reach to its eye. With this tongue Okapi cleaned its eyes and ears. Moreover Okapi also have a very sharp hearing to detect the existence of their main predator, the lion.

Okapi length between 2 to 2,5 metre and weight 200 to 250 kilogram. This unique mammal was a herbivore. They were a nocturnal animal

Okapi babies was born with a weight 14 to 30 kilogram. Okapi only need to sleep for 5 minutes in a day. Really a very unique rare animal.

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