an African mammal, Okapia johnstoni, closely related to and resembling the giraffe, but smaller and with a much shorter neck.[1900; < Bambuba (Mvu'ba), a Central Sudanic language of the NE Democratic Republic of the Congo (or < a related Pygmy dial.), according to English Africanist Harry Johnston (1858-1927), author of the first zoological descriptions of the animal]
* * *Ruminant species (Okapia johnstoni) in the giraffe family that lives alone in Congo rain forests, eating leaves and fruit.Its neck and legs are proportionately shorter than the giraffe's, and females, which are larger than males, stand about 5 ft (1.5 m) at the shoulder. The sleek coat is deep brown on the front of the body; the upper legs are black-and-white-striped, and the lower legs are white, with black rings above the hooves. The male's short horns are covered with skin except at the tips.Okapi (Okapia johnstoni )Kenneth W. FinkRoot Resources
* * *▪ mammal(species Okapia johnstoni), cud-chewing hoofed mammal that is placed along with the giraffe (q.v.) in the family Giraffidae (order Artiodactyla). Found in the rainforests of the Congo region, the okapi was unknown to science until about 1900. Its neck and legs are shorter than those of the giraffe, and the shoulder height of females, which are larger than males, is about 1.5 m (5 feet). The coat is sleek and deep brown, almost purple, with the sides of the face dull reddish; the buttocks, thighs, and tops of the forelegs are horizontally striped with black and white, and the lower parts of the legs are white with black rings above the hooves. The eyes and ears are large, and the tongue is long and prehensile. The male has short horns covered with skin except at the tips.The okapi is a shy, elusive animal that lives among dense cover and browses on leaves and fruit. It appears to be solitary. It has been exhibited in many zoological gardens and has been successfully bred in captivity. Gestation is about 14–15 months.
* * *