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Rare Okapi born at the St. Louis Zoo

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Okapi calf Umeme1_Kim Downey Saint Louis Zoo_8-8-13_smST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A rare Okapi named, “Umeme” was born at Saint Louis Zoo on June 17th.  The new “forest giraffe” weighed 52.8 pounds at birth. The calf can be seen  most days at the Zoo’s Red Rocks area near the camels.

Okapi are one of the world’s rarest animals in captivity.  There are only 94 in American zoos.  The species last mammals discovered by the scientific community in 1901.

The animals are shy and secretive.  They live in the dense rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Very little is known of its lifestyle in the wild, where its numbers are undetermined.  Okapis are considered to be likely endangered due to both hunting and political crises in their native land.