Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Update--Sept. 14 ,2008 Okapi Thread

Okapi--Chester Zoo and Bristol Zoo Click link for other comments

Anonymous said...

According to this book: The Okapi Mysterious Animal Of Congo-Zaire, by Susan Lyndaker Lindsey, Mary Neel Green, and Cynthia L. Bennett, the first European birth of an okapi was at Antwerp Zoo in 1954. One named Ebola was born in Paris on June 6, 1957. I was also reading about pygmy elephants recently. The book I was looking at claims that one died in the Bronx Zoo in 1915, and that the specimen is in the American Museum Of Natural History. (I thought that the existence of pygmy elephants had been disproven.) The book also claims that a German Ambassador filmed pygmy elephants in the wild in 1990. I was also reading about an unusual chimpanzee, which was captured where no chimpanzee had any business being, which was acquired by Chester Zoo I think around 1960. It only lived about two months. A supposed gorilla-like chimpanzee acquired by Basel Zoo in 1967 turned out to be a young female gorilla with a reddish back. Sincerely Paul

Wade - - -
The first okapi born in captivity was in Stanleyville Zoo, Belgian Congo on April 19, 1941. The calf lived four months. The next three were at Antwerp (1) Jan 1953 - -premature fetus; (2) 1954 born but trampled my mother; and (3) 1956 same result. Then came the one in Paris in 1957 which was successful.
The first okapi born here was at Brookfield zoo on September 17, 1959. The sire was a Ringling owned animal that they could not haul around because it was an imported wild born ruminant. It was supposed to be the feature of the 1955 menagerie but the USDA would not let the show take it on the road. So, it went to Brookfield on breeding loan. The show got this first born calf and it was shown at the Garden in 1960 and 1961 - -the only circus okapi. By then RBBB's traveling menagerie was no more.
"Pygmy elephant" was the first popular name given to what we now call the forest elephant. There are still some reports that there is a genuine pygmy smaller than the forest one. The one that died in the Bronx zoo in 1915 was named Congo and arrived at the zoo in 1906. It created quite a stir and was called the pygmy elephant and given the scientific name E. Africana pulilio. That is now disregarded in favor of cyclotis.
The Koolakamba chimp is said to be an unusually large animal, often with facial features approaching the gorilla. There was one on Sells Floto around 1917 named Casey. The jury is still out among the taxonomists as to whether it is a separate sub-species.
Don Cousins of England is the expert on the different forms of chimps.
Hope this helps.


Anonymous said...

The book which I was reading claimed that pygmy elephants are distinct from forest elephants. I was of the impression that pygmy elephants were just young forest elephants. The book is called Cryptozoology A To Z. Sincerely Paul PS: I read an article about a woman in Paris who has the gorilla form of HIV. She's the only known case of a person with HIV from a gorilla. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how big that okapi looks in that picture. I assume that's a Pygmy. The okapi looks as big as a horse. Sincerely Paul

Steve said...


As a resident of Her Majesty's southern Colony I had never seen an Okapi until I went to England. Aussie zoos don't have any at all.

Their size is what surprised us most of all. Photos or film do not portray that accurately. Some of the Okapis we saw were as large as a big horse - a very big horse!

Wade G. Burck said...

Was it a "strain" of gorilla HIV that the women has, that just "poof" appeared, or actual contracted gorilla HIV? Interesting, how did she contract it.

Anonymous said...

I payed a guy a hundred dollars once so that I could see an okapi. That was back in 2001. I was between flights at Chicago's O'Hare Airport and I decided to take a taxi out to the Brookfield Zoo. There were giant posters of the okapi in the airport, but I think I would have thought of this anyway. It was Winter, March 22, and I only had time to see the okapi and then go back to the airport to make my flight. I rushed past a bunch of outdoor enclosures containing zebras. There were several of them containing different varities, and I think I saw mountain zebras in the snow, but I did'nt really have time to pause. I went into the okapi building and there was just one on display. It looked quite small.There were also some giant rats from Africa. That's the last time I saw an okapi. I have also seen one in England, and a couple in San Diego Zoo. I think they were mating. They were certainly trying to. I also remember when I was a little kid there was a childrens' TV show called Mr. Dress Up. I don't know whether that was one word or two. He was a friend of Mr. Rogers. One day he had the director of Granby Zoo on his show. Mr. Dress Up said that the zoo director wanted an okapi, and that if anyone sees one in their backyard they should call him. I knew he was kidding about the last part. I don't think there has ever been an okapi on Canadian soil. I also remember that Granby Zoo believed that they had a pregnant gorilla before any other gorilla had given birth in Canada. They said that the pregnancy test was positive, but no baby gorilla was born. Sincerely Paul

Anonymous said...

Wade: According to the International Okapi Studbook the first captive birth of an okapi was at Kisan Oka in the Belgian Congo on April 19, 1941. There was a second birth there on May 8, 1941. The studbook doesn't say where that is or if it was the Stanleyville Zoo. Today Stanleyville is called Kisangani, and it looks as though this city is right next to the okapi's wild range. I keep hearing about okapis living in the wild in Uganda. Sincerely Paul