With its white-and-black striped hindquarters and front legs, an okapi (oh-KOP-ee) looks like it must be related to zebras. But it is actually the only living relative of the giraffe.
My hide hides me
Like giraffes, okapis have very large, upright ears, which catch even small sounds, helping them to avoid trouble. So why does the okapi have zebra-like stripes? These markings, which seem very bold to us, give the animal great camouflage when hiding in the partial sunlight that filters through the dense rain forest of the northeastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo where okapis make their home.
Smell you later!
Okapis mostly travel by themselves, but they still have ways of communicating with others of their kind. A scent gland on each foot leaves behind a sticky, tar-like substance wherever they have walked, marking their territory and leaving their personal "perfume" behind!
Lick it up
The okapi’s dark tongue is long enough to clean its eyes and ears!
Okapi stripes are sometimes called “follow me” stripes, as the bold pattern makes it easy for a calf to follow its mother through the dark rain forest.
The ears have it
The ears of an okapi can rotate independently, so the animal can listen for sounds both in front and behind.