Shy and Striped: Okapi Calf on Exhibit at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Posted at 4:41 pm October 10, 2011 by PR
or Immediate Release
October 7, 2011
Contact:San Diego Zoo Safari Park Public Relations

Shy and Striped: Okapi Calf on Exhibit at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Safari Park and Zoo Celebrate Kids Free in October

     Looking a lot like a horse, but with stripes similar to a zebra, the faces of an okapi calf and her mother show signs of their real relative - the giraffe. The mother, Makini, gave birth on Sept. 4, 2011, to the 37th okapi born at the 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.
     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. Guests at the Safari Park can see this calf, and other okapis, in the African Woods area on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between 9 a.m and noon.
     The Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo are both celebrating “Kids Free” during the month of October by offering children 11 years old and younger free admission to both facilities. The San Diego Zoo was founded in October 1916 and this celebration honors this historic event. Throughout the month the Zoo and the Park are offering extra on-grounds presentations on the weekends, a coloring contest and all new online activities on the San Diego Zoo Kids Free site. There’s even the chance to “race” against a cheetah at the Safari Park! The Zoo has celebrated “Kids Free” in October for 26 years; this is the fourth year the program is offered at the Safari Park.
     The 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically referred to as Wild Animal Park) is operated by the not-for-profit San Diego Zoo and includes a 900-acre native species reserve. The organization focuses on conservation and research work around the globe, educates millions of individuals a year about wildlife and maintains accredited horticultural, animal, library and photo collections.  The Zoo also manages the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.  The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

Photo taken on October 7, 2011, by Ken Bohn, photographer, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.



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