Okapi calf makes debut at San Diego Zoo - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Okapi calf makes debut at San Diego Zoo

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A female okapi born May 19 at the San Diego Zoo checked out her exhibit for the first time Tuesday.

The 17-day-old calf stayed near its mother and seemed tentative but curious about her surroundings, according to zoo staffers.

The animal care staff reported that the calf is healthy and has almost doubled her birth weight. She is now around 81 pounds, nursing regularly and should triple her size by the end of her second month.

When full grown in about three years, the female okapi is generally around 5 feet tall and weighs between 495 and 770 pounds. The unnamed calf is the fourth born to Safarani and the 23rd okapi born at the San Diego Zoo.

Okapis look a lot like a horse but have stripes similar to a zebra. They are actually the only relative of the giraffe, of which they share facial features.

Okapis are native to the Ituri Forest, a dense rain forest in Central Africa. The species is near threatened, mainly due to habitat destruction.

It's believed there are less than 25,000 okapis in the wild, and less than 90 in U.S. zoos.

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