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  1. ITV Report

Rare okapi calf born at Hampshire Zoo

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A rare and endangered okapi calf has been born at a zoo in Hampshire.

Marwell Zoo welcomed the baby girl, who keepers have named Niari, into the world two weeks ago.

First-time mum, Daphne, and Niari are currently out of the public eye while the newborn settles during the nesting period.

  • Video shows full birth of Niari

Okapis give birth to a single calf after a 14-month gestation period.

An okapi calf can be on its feet and suckling within half an hour of being born.

In the wild, the mother will leave her calf in a hiding place to nest, returning regularly to allow the calf to nurse.

Okapis are usually found in tropical rainforests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We know guests are desperate to see the pair, but we want to make sure Daphne and Niari enjoy some peace and quiet, as this is essential in the first few weeks of the nesting period. Okapis are very shy animals. As such, we prefer to keep okapi dams and calves in an isolated environment to reduce noise and stress levels.”

– Phil Robbins, Marwell Zoo animal keeper