What is the National Animal of Democratic Republic of the Congo?
Okapi is the official national animal of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Okapi was entitled to the official Democratic Republic of the Congo’s national animal. The scientific name of the okapi is Okapia johnstoni. It is a mammal from the family of Giraffidae. The wild giraffe and the okapi are the only two members remaining in this family.
The national animal of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi, is a mysterious herbivore that is found in a small pocket of tropical mountain forest in central Africa. In spite of its Deer-like appearance, the Okapi is one of the last remaining ancestors of the Giraffe, which known to be the tallest animal on Earth.
National Animal of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Facts—
- Common Name: Okapi, forest giraffe or zebra giraffe
- Scientific Name: Okapia johnstoni
- Type: Mammal
- Habitat: canopy forests at altitudes of 500–1,500 m (1,600–4,900 ft) and in the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Color: Its coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs and white ankles.
- Length: average body length around 2.5 m (8.2 ft)
- Height: about 1.5 m (4.9 ft) tall at the shoulder
- Weight: weight ranges from 200 to 350 kg (440 to 770 lb)
- Diet: herbivores, feeding on tree leaves and buds, grasses, ferns, fruits, and fungi.
- Cubs: The gestational period is around 440 to 450 days long, after which usually a single calf is born, weighing 14–30 kg (31–66 lb).
- Behavior: Okapis are essentially solitary and come together only to breed
- Lifespan: about 30 years in captivity
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s national animal Okapi is a unique animal. Although it is related to the giraffe, the okapi has a bit of a shorter neck and shorter legs. The coat of the okapi is glossy and deep brown, almost purple. The sides of the face pale white, and the forehead and ears may have a dull reddish cast. The buttocks, thighs, and tops of the forelegs of the okapi are horizontally striped with black and white, and the lower parts of the legs are white with black rings above the hooves.
This herbivorous animal (it survives on a diet that is only comprised of plant matter) eats leaves, shoots, and twigs that are drawn into their mouths using their elongated prehensile tongue along with fruits, berries, and other plant parts. The Okapi will even eat fungi on occasion. The national animal of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi is a diurnal animal which means that they are most active during the day. During the daytime, they spend the greater part of their time roaming set paths through the forest in search of food. Okapis are lonely animals. The only exception is the time when mothers spend with their calves.
Even though they are solitary animals, they are known to put up with other individuals and may occasionally feed together in small groups for a short period of time. Okapi has overlapping home ranges with males which tend to occupy a larger territory than females. The home range is marked with both urines and by rubbing their necks on trees. Males use their necks to fight with one other to both resolve disputes over territory and to compete to mate with a female during the breeding season. Okapis are known to also communicate with one another using hushed “chuff” sounds and rely heavily on their hearing in the surrounding forest where they are not able to see very far at all.