The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a new okapi calf. He was able to explore the outdoor habitat for the first time today.
Named Amaranta, the four week old calf has spent his short life in the okapi barn and the outside yard. He had been showing signs of curiosity which led care staff to allow him and Makini, his mother access to the forested habitat which guests can view.
Okapis have bred incredibly well at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park with this being the 41st calf born there. The park took up a leadership role in conservation awareness by providing ongoing support to the Okapi Conservation Project. This program works to protect wildlife, identify alternative agriculture methods and provide community assistance in the Democratic Republic of Congo which is where okapi are found.
This species is a relative of the giraffe. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists this species as endangered. They are under threat from hunting for their meat and skin along with habitat destruction.
Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park/ Ken Bohn