icon of person Membership icon of ticket Buy Tickets

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.

Okapi (Photo: Erica Hill)

Did You Know?

The foot-long tongue also allows the okapi to lick and clean its own eyelids and ears. An okapi also walks like a giraffe, swinging forward both legs on the same side of the body together. Okapis are solitary, only coming together to mate.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Okapia johnstoni

Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa


Up to 8ft

16 years

Zoo Location:
Rhino Reserve

Leaves, grass, fruit and fungi

Risk Status:
Species at Risk (IUCN—Endangered)