But first—the not-so-fun fact: The Okapi and its habitat are at risk of disappearing due to armed conflict, illegal mining, illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture. Let’s do our part by bringing awareness to our gentle “forest giraffe” friends.
1. The World Okapi Day Celebration was held October 18, 2018 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
2. The day started with a community parade to increase the number of attendees and to spread the entire community.
3. The towns and villages surrounding the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Epulu, Mambasa, Mungbere and Watsa) participated in fun and exciting races and games, educational messages, and in-person presentations that involved the entire community and allowed for the celebration of the beautiful Okapi.
4. Local teens raced for World Okapi Day related prizes and payment for their school fees.
5. The events, parades and excitement aimed to encourage people to live sustainable to protect the endangered species home.
6. An estimated number of 15,000 children and adults participated and were exposed to the message of environmental stewardship across the towns and villages.
7. Donations from four zoological institutions worldwide (Zoo Antwerpen, St. Louis Zoo, Tanganyika Wildlife Park and ZooTampa at Lowry Park) made the event possible.
To learn more about World Okapi Day and the Okapi Conservation project, click here: https://www.okapiconservation.org/world-okapi-day/
Tanganyika is honored to have been able to contribute to the Okapi Conservation Project with Wildlife Conservation Global to help make World Okapi Day 2018 possible. We are one of a small number of zoos with Okapi and have made a conscious effort to bring awareness to the species. Our goal is to eventually add a successful breeding program for Okapi to help preserve the species. In addition to exhibiting the Okapi, Tanganyika has a behind-the-scenes experience where visitors can touch and feed the rare Okapi.