Dallas Zoo breeding program leads to more okapi

November 1, 2013 12:28:48 PM PDT
Efforts by the Dallas Zoo to bolster a rare mammal's population have led to the recent birth of another okapi.

The Dallas Morning News reports the female named Almasi (ahl-MAH'-see) is the 36th okapi calf born at the zoo. Almasi, which means "diamond" in Swahili, makes her first appearance Friday in the Wilds of Africa habitat.

The unusual-looking creature has stripes similar to a zebra and a long tongue like a giraffe. Almasi weighed 47 pounds at birth. She's expected to top 700 pounds at maturity.

Experts say an estimated 10,000 okapis are in the wild, living in the Congo. Six live at the Dallas Zoo. Experts say 20 percent of the okapi in the U.S. and Japan were born or bred at the Dallas Zoo.

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