Okapi are facing illegal pressures in the wild and need our help. They need vast amounts of healthy, dense forests to survive.

Remaining unknown to the western world until 1901, the okapi is a cultural symbol in the Congo, and is considered an umbrella species for the immense biodiversity in the area – protecting the okapi means protecting all other species found in its habitat, including elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas.

Ways you can help save okapi:

  • Help us raise awareness! Use #OkapiConservation and #WorldOkapiDay in your social media posts
  • Recycle your old cell phone – They contain coltan, a mineral mined in the forest of DRC. Recycling your phone means less mining in the forest.
  • You can help by using the Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping guide to choose products made from okapi-friendly palm oil (certified sustainable palm oil).
  • Tell your family and friends about the okapi.

Protecting the Animals, Plants and People of the Ituri Forest

The Zoo supports the efforts of the Okapi Conservation Project, a dedicated community of individuals working in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve inside the Ituri Forest. Established in 1992 and listed as a World Heritage Site in 1996, the Reserve is 1.5 times the area of Yellowstone National Park. It serves to protect its rare plants and animals as well as the lifestyle and culture of its indigenous people through wildlife protection, agroforestry and community assistance. Recent accomplishments include the initiation of a camera trap study and the elimination of more than 70 illegal poaching and mining camps.