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New Arrival For The Uncommon “Forest Giraffes”


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At 11.55 p.m. on Sunday 10 July 2022, a child okapi was born at Basel Zoo. Toka’s start has been the supply of nice pleasure: he’s solely the fifth forest giraffe calf to be raised at Basel Zoo in over 20 years.

The brand new son of mom Ebony (10) and father Imba (15) known as Toka. The small bull is robust and curious. Instantly after he was born within the night time between Sunday 10 and Monday 11 July 2022, he stood up on his shaky however stocky little legs and went in quest of milk. Now, at 11 days outdated, Toka is in the perfect of well being and is feeding recurrently. After Quenco, who was born in 2019, Toka is okapi cow Ebony’s second profitable start. Her first calf got here too early in 2017 and was stillborn.

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Good issues come to those that wait

Okapi calves are hiders. The younger animals spend their first few weeks mendacity down away from their moms, solely standing when they’re referred to as to drink. Within the wild, this reduces the possibility of the calves being discovered by a predator, as younger okapis – not like the adults – haven’t but developed their very own scent. This ‘hiding’ behaviour can also be why guests to the zoo should be affected person for the primary few weeks to catch a glimpse of Toka. He sleeps lot and spends a variety of time hidden amongst the straw. When Toka wants a bit extra peace and quiet, he can even retreat again into the stall. However good issues come to those that wait: younger okapis have an exquisite stripy sample round their eyes. This signal of youth disappears because the okapi grows up. Additionally they have a small white patch on their black-and-white entrance legs that can develop larger with age. Toka may be seen within the antelope home within the afternoon. Within the morning, the home stays closed to guests.

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Basel Zoo is protecting the gene pool wholesome

Within the Democratic Republic of Congo, their pure habitat, forest giraffes are endangered because of civil wars and hunger. Their inhabitants is estimated to be round 10,000 animals. It’s due to this fact much more vital to have a wholesome zoo inhabitants: as there was a poor genetic base within the EAZA ex-situ programme (EEP, the breeding programme of the European Affiliation of Zoos and Aquaria), Basel Zoo and the Belgian managers of the okapi EEP determined some years in the past to import genetically invaluable animals from the Species Survival Plan (SSP) within the USA. That is how the okapi bull Imba, initially from Dallas and likewise Toka’s father, got here to name Basel Zoo dwelling in 2013. As a manner of selling sustainable nature and species conservation within the okapis’ pure habitat, Basel Zoo additionally helps the Okapi Conservation Venture, and has executed so for greater than 30 years. You could find out extra concerning the venture right here: https://www.zoobasel.ch/en/tiere/naturschutzprojekte/3/okapis-in-der-demokratischen-republik-kongo.

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Picture credit:   Photograph: Basel Zoo, www.zoobasel.ch

     

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