Deep in the heart of the Ituri forest lives the wonderful animal called the okapi. The okapi is an animal that looks like a giraffe and a zebra. It is a territorial herbivore, that lives in the rainforests of Africa. The okapi is a rare animal that not many people have heard of. You may be surprised at the okapi’s appearance. The okapi has white zebra-like stripes on its hind legs. Although it looks mostly like a zebra it’s closest relative is a giraffe. The okapi has a long flexible blue tongue that is so long it can lick its brown ears. Okapis have white ankles with a dark spot above them with thick skin to give them protection from injury. Even though the okapi is mostly related to the giraffe, the okapi have shorter necks that are twelve inches long. Its color of fur is a reddish brown. The female okapi is about five feet tall and is anywhere from four hundred ninety-five to seven hundred seventy pounds in weight, while the male okapi only weighs between four hundred forty to six hundred sixty pounds. The male okapi also have small horns on the top of their heads that are covered in skin. The offspring usually weigh about thirty five pounds when first born and 2.6 feet tall when first born. These interesting features make for a rare looking animal. Because the okapi is so closely related to the giraffe, it has close to the same diet.The okapi is a herbivore, so it eats leaves, buds, fruit, twigs, plant parts and other vegetation that may be in the rainforest, even fungi on occasion. The okapi usually eats forty-five to sixty pounds of vegetation each day. The most important part of the okapis diet is clay from river beds which gives the okapi the minerals that the okapi is missing from it vegetarian diet. Except for the clay and twigs, a vegetarian would love this diet, as long as they had a bottle of ranch. The okapis habitat is in the Ituri forest in Africa. The okapi is usually found in forested areas where the trees are dense, and can also be found in the rainforest of the mountains. The okapis are endangered due to habitat loss, so sometimes you can find the okapi at zoos or a wildlife resort in Africa. Because the okapi live in forests, their habitat is naturally isolated. Animals often mark their territory in many different ways, the okapi does the same thing. They usually do this by rubbing their necks against trees or leave a sticky tar trail from their feet. They also mark their territory with urine. Males tend to have a larger territory than females do and may travel up to 2.5 miles per day. Sometimes the okapis will fight with their necks over territory. This might sound weird for us, but if we were okapis then we would be doing the same thing.The rare, but zebra-giraffe-like okapi is not an animal many people have heard about. Now you know that such a magnificent herbivore lives in this world, in Africa. If you come across an okapi’s territory you should not destroy their habitat. Sadly, people are doing this anyway. Just because others are doing this horrendous thing doesn’t mean you should do this to these magnificent and rare animals. They will not be around to much longer. If you would like to see the okapi without going all the way to the Ituri forest in Africa, then you should go to a wildlife resort in Africa, or just read this report again.