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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. The okapi is a rare animal that lives in Africa that not many people have heard of. The okapi has white zebra-like stripes on its hind legs. But 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 set back ears. The female okapi is about five feet tall and about 495 to 770 pounds in weight, while the male okapi only weigh 440 to 660 pounds. Offspring usually weigh about thirty five pounds when first born and 2.6 feet tall when first born. It’s color of fur is a reddish brown. The male okapi have small horns on the top of their heads that are covered in skin. Okapis have white ankles with a dark spot above them with thick skin to give them protection from inquiry. Even though the okapi is mostly related to the giraffe the okapi have shorter necks, that are twelve inches long. 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. But the most important part of the okapis diet is clay from river beds this gives the okapi the minerals that the okapi is missing from it vegetarian diet. The okapi usually eats up to forty five  and sixty pounds of vegetation each day. The okapis habitat is in the Ituri forest in Africa. The okapi is usually found in forested areas where the trees are dense, and rainforests in the mountain. The okapis are endangered due to habitat loss, so sometimes you can find the okapi at zoo’s of a wildlife resort in Africa. Because the okapi lives in forests their habitat is naturally isolated. Many animals mark their territory in many different ways, the okapi does the same thing they usually do this by rubbing their necks against trees. 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. Sometimes the okapis will fight with their necks over territory. This might sound weird for us but if we were okapis than we would be doing the same thing. And that is the rare but cute okapi that not many people have heard of, but now you know that such a magnificent creature lives in this world in Africa. If you come across an okapi you should not destroy their habitat. Sadly people are doing this anyway but just because they are doing this horrendous thing doesn’t mean you should to this to these magnificent and rare animals that 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 of zoo in Africa.

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