Hidden in the shadows of Africa’s dense Ituri Forest lives a shy relative of the giraffe called the okapi. Like the giraffe, the okapi uses its long, prehensile tongue to pluck leaves and buds from trees.


Masai Giraffe

Marked with jagged spots, the Masai Giraffe, also known as the Kilimanjaro Giraffe, is the largest subspecies of giraffe. As the tallest animals in the world, giraffes have a clear view of their surroundings on the African savanna. With excellent eyesight, they often detect predators and threats from a greater distance than do other animals.

Learn more: The Cincinnati Zoo supports research and conservation of Maasai giraffe in Tanzania.


Llamas are related to camels, and like camels, are used to carry goods over long distances. A llama can carry a heavy load as far as 20 miles in a single day.

Indian Rhinoceros

With thick folds in its bumpy skin, the Indian rhino looks as if it is wearing a suit of armor. Despite their tough skin, they are still susceptible to sunburn and biting insects. A good romp in the mud helps protect the skin. A megaherbivore, the Indian rhino is as big as a tank and grazes on tall grasses.


Grevy’s Zebra

Instead of living in large, stable herds like the common zebra, Grevy’s zebras loosely socialize and readily move between groups. Males defend territories with food and water resources that attract roaming bands of females. Like other herbivores, zebras have to eat a lot of plants to get enough nutrition, and they spend about 60% of the day foraging.


One of the largest forest antelopes, the shy and reclusive bongo wears a reddish coat with white stripes for camouflage. When startled, the bongo is able to run gracefully at full speed through the thick foliage, ducking under, darting around, or jumping over obstacles in its path.

Black Rhinoceros

Traveling alone, a black rhino brandishes the two horns on its head at an intruder. Intended for protection, the horns may actually lead to the rhino’s demise. Rhino horns are sought after by poachers to sell for their use in traditional medicine. Some cultures also use black rhino horn to fashion high-status dagger handles.


Bactrian Camel

A desert dweller, the Bactrian camel can survive without drinking water for months at a time. When it does have the opportunity to drink, it can take in 30 gallons at a time.  Other desert adaptations include long eyelashes and closeable nostrils to protect against blowing sand.

Learn more about the Cincinnati Zoo’s efforts to save the last truly wild camel.

Babydoll Sheep

The babydoll sheep is a rare breed of small sheep from England. People keep babydoll sheep as pets and natural lawnmowers. Their wool is also spun into yarn.