Trivia question for Aug-20-2011
Carter just loves these guys and we hope to see one in the wild someday. These are secretive forest-dwelling herbivores first discovered by naturalists less than 100 years ago. Females have such a long gestation period that she can only breed once every other year.
These guys are native to the Ituri Rainforest, located in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Central Africa. Although they bear striped markings reminiscent of the zebra, it is most closely related to the giraffe. They prefer altitudes of 500 to 1,000 m, but may venture above 1,000 m in the eastern montane rain-forests. Because there is a considerable amount of rain in these forests, these guys have an oily, velvety coat of fur that repels the water. They develop this coat early in childhood also as a technique of camouflage. Although these animals are not classified as endangered, they are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching. The world population is estimated at 10,000–20,000. Conservation work in the Congo includes the continuing study of their behavior and lifestyle.
Here are Carter’s questions: Tell us what this odd looking creature is and how long their gestation period is? Also, tell us where the females scent glands are located?
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations to Deborah Chad from Worcester, Massachusetts for being the first to identify this species and to Steffi Finnerty from Hernando, Florida for answering the rest of our questions correctly. Also a special thanks to everyone else who wrote in letting us know which zoo’s across the country had some of these to visit. The cool looking animal we featured is the Okapi. The okapi (pronounced /oʊˈkɑːpiː/), is a giraffid artiodactyl mammal native to the Ituri Rainforest, located in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Central Africa. Although the okapi bears striped markings reminiscent of the zebra, it is most closely related to the giraffe.
Today there are approximately 10,000–20,000 in the wild and as of 2011, 42 different institutions display them worldwide. Their gestation period last between 425-491 days which means they only reproduce once every other year. Okapis have several methods of communicating their territory, including scent glands on each foot that produce a tar-like substance, as well as urine marking. Males are protective of their territory, but allow females to pass through their domain to forage. Here is more on these interesting mammals: Okapi
Thanks for playing along 😉