Birth of rare okapi calf at Denver Zoo

5:19 PM, Feb 21, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER - If you're at the Denver Zoo and you thought you were seeing a "ze-affe" you weren't wrong.

On Feb. 3, mother Kalispell and father Sekele gave birth to a rare male okapi. Jabari is only the sixth birth of his species at the Denver

Okapis are a cross between zebras and giraffes. They are the only living relative to the giraffe. Oakpis have reddish bodies, very long necks, black and white striped legs and weight between 500 and 700 pounds.

Jabari is the first birth for his parents. Sekele arrived from the San Diego Zoo and was matched with Kalispell under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. A plan created to foster healthy populations and genetic diversity in zoos.

Okapis originate from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their survival is intensely threatened by rebel military actions and unsettled political conditions. Experts believe there are only around 10,000 and 50,000 Oakpis left living and are currently classified as 'endangered' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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