Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Saint Louis Zoo Debuts Okapi "Forest Giraffe" Calf Named Umeme (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 2:02 PM

click to enlarge Umeme the okapi. - KIM DOWNEY / SAINT LOUIS ZOO

Today, the Saint Louis Zoo is debuting Umeme, a female okapi, also known as a "forest giraffe," who was born two months ago.

Umeme, which is the Swahili word for "lightning," weighed 52.8 pounds when she was born on June 17, but okapi calves grow very fast, the zoo says. After one month, she had already doubled her weight. In these photos, she is nearly two months old -- and venturing outdoors for the first time.

The okapi is one of the world's rarest animals in captivity, with only 94 in 23 U.S. zoos, including Umeme, according to the zoo.

Here's footage posted today.

Umeme was born to mother Manala and father Jabari. The birth of this female okapi is an "important and rare event," the zoo says, noting, "okapis are considered to be likely endangered due to both hunting and political crises in their native land."

This species is apparently so shy and secretive in the dense rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo that very little is known about its lifestyle in the wild -- where its numbers are undetermined. The breeding of Manala and Jabari was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.

Visitors can see Umeme at the zoo's Red Rocks exhibit.

For now, some more photos:

And for some more okapi fun from the St. Louis Zoo:

click to enlarge VIA STLZOO.ORG

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation