Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rare giraffe-like animal spotted

This is the first time I've ever heard of the Okapi though that doesn't mean that much. It's great that they may have survived in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The giraffe is one of my favourite animals. I once took a really great photo of a giraffe at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney with the Sydney skyline as a backdrop. It was rather fantastic, if I do say so myself. It graced my apartment wall for many years. When I lived in Mosman where the Taronga Zoo is located I had a zoo membership and often went to visit the giraffe enclosure. So, now it's really nice to read about a cousin of this majestic creature.

BBC NEWS | Africa | Rare giraffe-like animal spotted

Conservationists say they have found conclusive proof of the existence of a rare giraffe-like creature in the wild in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Experts from the conservation group WWF say they came across 17 okapi tracks in the Virunga National Park.

Despite its zebra-like markings, the okapi is related to the giraffe.

The region in the eastern DRC has been battered by years of conflict. The last time the shy forest-dwelling creature was spotted in the park was in 1959.

"We rely completely on tracks, on footprints, on dung, on signs of browsing to identify where the animals have been," WWF's Peter Stephenson said.


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