‘Well-behaved’ baby okapi explores paddock at London Zoo for first time

Baby okapi takes first steps outside at ZSL London Zoo
Baby okapi takes first steps outside at ZSL London Zoo
13:08pm, Thu 15 Oct 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

A three-week-old okapi calf has explored her outdoor paddock for the first time at ZSL London Zoo.

Ede the calf was born to mum Oni on September 21, and has been hidden away inside the stable where she was born ever since.

Gemma Metcalf, an okapi keeper at the zoo, said: “Like all good okapi mums, Oni usually ‘parks’ Ede in a safe spot while she goes outside to forage and exercise.

“Communicating through infrasound, okapis tell their calves to stay put and the little ones are so well-behaved they do exactly as they’re told – something most mums can only dream of!”

Ede outside (c) ZSL London Zoo

Okapis a species native to the Democratic Republic of Congo, regularly leave their calves in hidden spots while they roam the forests for food.

“Oni clearly felt it was fine for Ede to start exploring, and she enjoyed trotting around the wide-open space,” Ms Metcalf said.

“Lucky visitors may be able to spot the youngster from now on, so it’s a great time to visit ZSL London Zoo – especially as it’s World Okapi Day this Sunday.”

Sign up to our newsletter