Protect an unique animal, the Okapi

  • by: Ismail A & Patricia Losch
  • target: The Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mr Augustin Matata Ponyo to ensure more Protection for Okapi.

The Okapi or Zebra Giraffe has a reddish dark back with striking horizontal white stripes on the front and back legs ,making them look similar to zebra from a distance and they have long legs and a robust body similar to Giraffe but with a shorter neck. They are known to consume more than 100 plant species and they are recorded eating at night too, their habitat covers an area between 500 m and 1500 m in elevation, they used to live in forests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.They are already extinct in Uganda, according to IUCN. Their population is highly decreased, the most robust recent population estimates were made in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (RFO) in 1993-1995 and repeated in 2005-2007, these surveys produced estimations  of 4,428 and 2,207 in the two survey periods respectively a 43% decrease. The Okapi Wildlife Reserve is the most effectively protected Okapi site with resident rangers and an active conservation program and the overall rate decline is equal or exceed another conservation, that´s why it is classified as Endangered.

Major Threat is poaching and hunting for their skins and meat, the people reporting that Okapi is the most prized bush meat available, the most current threat to Okapi is the presence of illegal armed groups in and around the protected areas, in June 2012 armed rebels attacked the RFO Head Quarter and killed seven people and the all 14 captive Okapi.

the most current threat to Okapi is the presence of illegal armed groups in and around the protected areas, in June 2012 armed rebels attacked the RFO Head Quarter and killed seven people and the all 14 captive Okapi.

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