Okapi - The National Animal Of Congo

Is it a giraffe? Or a zebra? Is it a ziraffe? A gebra? No, It's an Okapi!
Jun 30, 2017, 5:19 pm ISTAnimalsLoveAnimals Staff

The national animal of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Okapi. Okapi is sometimes called the forest giraffe or forest zebra, but one of its lesser-known (unofficial) names is the “African unicorn.” The national animal of Congo Okapi and the giraffe are the only existing members of the family Giraffidae.

Usually found in the rainforests of the Congo region. This beautiful animal Okapi, the national symbol of Congo, lives in the northern, central and eastern parts of the Congo (Africa). The okapi was unknown to science until 1901 when British explorer  Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston sent the first bits of hiding to the British Museum. Though there is a debate about the exact number of population but the tentative number is 35000-50000.

So rare and so peculiar that it was long believed to be of mythical origin. This enigmatic ruminant with hair-covered horns, striped hindquarters and an obscenely long tongue even served as mascot for the now-defunct International Society of Cryptozoology. Of course, the okapi isn't a cryptid but a real species — and an endangered one at that. With a teeny-tiny range limited to the forests of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this skittish and solitary beast known as the "forest giraffe" has experienced steadily declining population numbers since the mid-1990s