October 18 is World Okapi Day October 18, 2016 13:29

October 18, 2016

Join us as we celebrate the inaugural World Okapi Day!

The elusive okapi is a mysterious and secretive mammal that is nearly impossible to observe in the wild. Commonly mistaken as a hybrid between 2 or 3 animals, the okapi is its very own distinct species living in the spectacular, lush rainforests of central Africa.

Its existence is under serious threat from the impact of human activities. The okapi is entirely dependent on the forest sanctuary for its survival, and deforestation, along with poaching and mining, has contributed to its precipitous decline in recent decades.

Remaining unknown to the western world until 1901, the okapi is a cultural symbol in the Congo, and is considered an umbrella species for the immense biodiversity in the area – protecting the okapi means protecting all other species found in its habitat, including elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas.

Most people have never heard about the okapi, which is why we created a World Okapi Day – to help bring awareness to this endangered species, to share ways we’re helping protect this animal and to show how you can help too.

Ways you can help save okapi:

  • Visit your nearest zoo or okapi holding facility. See our list of partners and supporters in North America, Europe and Asia here.
  • Tell your family and friends about the okapi.
  • Recycle your old cell phones – they contain coltan a mineral mined in the forests of DRC. Recycling your phones means less mining in the forest.
  • Post your best okapi photos on social media and use the hashtags #OkapiConservation and #WorldOkapiDay on all your okapi-related posts.
  • Change your social media cover photo to one of the options found on our Facebook page.
  • Give a $10 gift (or more) to the Okapi Conservation Project by visiting by clicking here. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to help protect okapi and its habitat.
  • Host your own okapi awareness event! Get creative! And be sure to share with us what you did! Take photos and email them to lmeers@okapiconservation.org and you may be featured on our social media channels!