Endangered okapi calf born at Oklahoma City Zoo

A video shared by the zoo shows the birth and the moment the calf stood up. (Source: Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden / AMAZING ANIMALS+ /TMX)
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:13 AM MDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (Gray News) – The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is celebrating the birth of a rare, endangered okapi calf.

The male calf was born around 3:45 a.m. on Sept. 7 in the zoo’s okapi barn to first-time mom, Kayin.

A video shared by the zoo shows the birth and the moment the calf stood up for the first time, less than an hour later.

The calf, which already weighs 57 pounds, is already meeting milestones like nursing and bonding with his mom.

“We are overjoyed about the arrival of Kayin’s first calf and welcoming this new generation to our okapi family,” Tracey Dolphin, the zoo’s curator of hoofstock and primates, said in a statement. “Kayin is being a very attentive first-time mother and demonstrating exceptional maternal care.”

This marks the seventh okapi calf born at the zoo, the last being Kayin in 2015.

The okapi, native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa, is the only surviving relative of the giraffe.

The zoo said the endangered okapi is reclusive, earning the nickname “ghosts of the forests.”