The Only Relative of the Giraffe Looks Like a Zebra

September 5, 2019

– [Narrator] This is an okapi. They may look like zebras,
but they are actually the only living relative of giraffes. (lively, bouncy music) Endemic to the Democratic
Republic of Congo, the okapi is a solitary animal that lives only in dense forests. Their coloring is distinctive. Their deep red coat contrasts
with black and white markings across their hind side and legs. These specific markings act
as camouflage among the trees. Similar to giraffes,
okapis have long tongues that they use to pull
leaves from branches. Their tongues are between
14 and 18 inches in length, so long that they can clean
their ears and eyes with it. The okapi are known for
having incredible hearing. Their large ears can detect
the slightest disturbance around them, which helps
protect them from predators. It is believed that in the last decade, okapi populations have been halved due to deforestation and hunting. The presence of armed groups
in their native habitat makes conservation
efforts nearly impossible, but local governments are stepping up. The okapi is a fully protected
species under Congolese law and is a national symbol for the country. This is an okapi. (chiming)

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