Okapi legs are striped in a pattern much like a zebra. These stripes can distinguish one Okapi from another, and, combined with the brown on the rest of their bodies, provide camouflage in a forested habitat. Okapi are so well camouflaged that scientists did not even know of their existence until 1900!
Okapis are solitary animals, and males can become quite aggressive regarding their territory. Males and females locate each other for breeding using their sense of smell, and the gestation period is a whopping 440 days. Young Okapis are able to walk 30 minutes after birth and have an rather interesting way of protecting themselves from predators. Calves will not defecate at all until they are six to eight weeks old. This prevents predators from being able to track them as easily. Mothers are extremely protective of their young, and will fight to defend them.
Okapis are listed as Near Threatened, and the global populations is estimated at between 35,000 and 50,000 individuals. Loss of habitat and hunting have affected their numbers. They are protected by Congolese law, and are a national symbol of the country.