okapi

An oka...what?

Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM ET

Ken Bohn / AFP - Getty Images /
An okapi calf and her mother at the San Diego Zoo in California on October 7.

Looking a lot like a horse, but with stripes similar to a zebra, you can see how an okapi calf and her mother show signs of their real relative, the giraffe. The mother, Makini, gave birth on September 4 to the 37th okapi born at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park and the first female born in 11 years. Okapis are the only living relative of the giraffe and have similar large, upright ears and a prehensile tongue that helps them strip leaves from trees in their native habitat of the Ituri Forest in Central Africa. The zoo's animal care staff reports that the calf, which has not been named yet, is adventurous, independent and self-assured. She is tolerant and enjoys petting from her keepers. Like her mother, she can often be seeing sticking out her tongue. Calves look just like adults except for a short fringe of hair along their spine, which will disappear about a year after birth.    

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