The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park are temporarily closed. For assistance, please ask our Chat Bot, or click here to email us.   READ MORE ▸

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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos


White rhino with calf


Although the Zoo and Safari Park are temporarily closed, our team of dedicated specialists continue to care for the animals and plants that depend on us each and every day.

Your continued support is more critical now than ever before and will provide a vital lifeline to the wildlife in our care.




The okapi (pronounced oh-COP-ee) is a beautiful and unusual animal. With its white-and-black striped hindquarters and front legs, is it related to zebras? No! Take a look at an okapi’s head, and you’ll notice a resemblance to giraffes. The okapi is the only living relative of the giraffe.

Like giraffes, okapis have large, upright ears. These catch even slight sounds, helping okapis avoid trouble. They also have a long, prehensile tongue, just like a giraffe’s. This helps okapis strip the buds and young leaves from the understory brush of their rain forest home. A scent gland on each foot leaves behind a sticky substance. This marks their territory.

Okapis are hard to find in the wild, the dense rain forest in central Africa. Scientists didn’t know of the animal until 1900. But you can observe these wondrous creatures with ease along the African Loop in the Safari Park’s African Woods!

Free! Living Legends - San Diego Zoo 100. Help save wildlife in our newest puzzle game.