The Okapi’s decline has exceeded 50 per cent over three generations, which for the blue-tongued forest giraffe, is a mere 24 years. The Okap is the national symbol of the Democratic Republic of Congo and has been in decline since at least 1995. The giraffe’s potential extinction is so alarming that the Red List put out by the IUNCN has put it on its endangered list. The Okapi Conservation Project is fighting to preserve the giraffe and hopes that by alerting people to just how endangered the animals are, it may raise awareness. They are hunted sometimes for bush meat but according to the report from the IUCN, they’re often killed incidentally. Distressingly, in 2012, armed rebels attacked the Okapi Wildlife Reserve HQ and killed 7 people there and all 14 of the captive Okapi in the reserve.
Photo credit: Charles Miller cc IUNCH Red List