Wednesday, April 4, 2012

First Okapi in England

Website for this image


Anonymous said...

Wade: Is this him? Congo the okapi. "Meet The okapi 1935" And see also "Paris Zoo's Youngsters 1963" I believe that Edward VIII was given an okapi. Maybe that was in 1935. Take care. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade: I was looking again through that book about cryptozoology, the one I have at home, and there is a picture of Bernard Heuvelmans holding a young gorilla named "Kaisi" in 1961. I said that it looks like an Eastern Lowland gorilla to me. I just checked in the gorilla studbook and there was an Eastern Lowland gorilla named "Kaisi" in Antwerp Zoo in 1961. (Besides all of the photo credits of animals in Heuvelmans' book are from Antwerp Zoo, such as the Grevy's zebra, which was discovered by Western science in Paris Zoo. It was a gift for President Grevy of France, but nobody knew that it would represent a new species until it arrived. I understand that the Grevy's zebra will herd with other zebras, but will not interbreed with them.) Anyway "Kaisi" (9909 M) was a male Eastern Lowland gorilla (grauri) born in 1955 in the wild and acquired by Antwerp Zoo in 1957. He died in 1993. According to the okapi book, authored by the lady okapi keeper at Dallas Zoo, the okapi above named "Congo", was a gift from Prince Leopold to the Duke of Windsor, but it only lived for four months, having had a parasitic infection (worms I think). The London Zoo sent an expedition to the Congo in 1934 to capture two okapis for London Zoo, but they were unsuccessful. The book doesn't say whether they particularly wanted a male and a female, just two. Maybe two years later George VI was offered some okapis, and this time they looked a gift horse in the mouth by examining their poop before deciding which ones they wanted. They must have gone to Epulu. Congo was number 6 in the studbook and died on Nov. 4, 1935. The book on cryptozoology talks about something they describe as "Proto-pygmies", such as the supposed Agogwe of Kenya, which are supposed to be little hairy people, but it says the same things have been reported from North America, Oceania, and Sri Lanka. The orang-pendek in Indonesia would be another example, which I think is supposed to live on Sumatra, and maybe the recently discovered "Hobbit". There was a story about a British man in Kenya who claimed that he saw two Agogwe walk out on a beach amongst a group of baboons, who were not disturbed by them, causing him to conclude that they were "related". He raised his gun to shoot one, but the Natives with him persuaded him not to. This was back in the 1930s. Sincerely Paul