The wonderful okapi has finally been photographed in the wild. The okapi is an odd creature with a giraffe-like face and legs, a horse-like neck, and zebra-like stripes on its back legs! It only lives in the wild in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has never been photographed there until recently. Eighteen cameras were set up by the Zoological Society of London to try to capture pictures of this shy animal. It has excellent hearing and good camouflage, so it has been hard to find.
The horns on the front of the male okapi have made scientists wonder if it might have started the mythical idea of the unicorn. When viewed from the side, the two horns on its nose can blend together and look like one.
The stripes on the okapi’s legs are sometimes called “come follow me” stripes. It is thought that they help the young ones follow their mothers through the deep forest. The stripes of the okapi are unique to each animal, making them like a fingerprint.
Finding the okapi in the wild for the first time makes us wonder what other hidden creatures might still be out there waiting to be found. We might find a living dinosaur yet!