Okapia johnstoni

The okapi is the only known living relative of the giraffe and lives in the rain forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) and western Uganda. It prefers to live a solitary and secluded life, away from human observation, and for this reason it was not discovered until 1900. It has a long, prehensile, purplish tongue, which it uses to grab leaves from bushes and trees, and even to groom its ears! The male has two small, skin-covered bony knobs on its forehead. The okapi finds the minerals its body needs by eating a sulfurous clay found along river banks.

The above picture was taken at Cincinnati zoo, in July 2002.

Family Giraffidae
Order Artiodactyla
Subclass Eutheria
Class Mammalia
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth