Super-cute baby okapi born at zoo - but what exactly is it?

Super-cute baby okapi born at zoo - but what exactly is it?

There's excitement at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo in Florida after a rare okapi calf was born on 6 January - the first okapi birth of the year in the North American population.

But what exactly is an okapi, you might (reasonably) ask? Well, it's forest giraffe that's only found in Central Africa - and it's ridiculously adorable, isn't it?

The now three-week-old calf (who has grown to 96 pounds from 64 at birth) spends his days nursing, sleeping and following mother around the barn.

Super-cute baby okapi born at zoo - but what exactly is it?

Just discovered in the 20th century, these large hoofed mammals are found in the rainforests of northern, central and eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The species is a shy and reclusive forest-dweller and is the only living relative of the giraffe.

VP of animal science and conservation, Dr. Larry Killmar said: "We are very pleased with the successful birth and are delighted that Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo has contributed to the long term sustainability of this unique species."

See more gorgeous baby zoo animals here:

Baby zoo animals around the world
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Super-cute baby okapi born at zoo - but what exactly is it?

These babies, named Sri Kandi (left) and Arjuna (right) were born at Tierpark, Berlin, Germany. They made their debut on 5 March 2012.

Clinging to his mum, baby Changi meets his public  for the first time at Krefeld Zoo, Germany.

This little rhino, named Male, was born in January. He's pictured here with his mother, Mana, at Magdeburg Zoo, Germany.

The zoo at Tierpark in Berlin celebrated the birth of a litter of four dingo babies in January.

Only a few days old, this baby giraffe, named Kimarle, peaks out from her enclosure at the ZOOM Zoo in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. The 170cm tall giraffe was born on March 9.

A one-month-old baby squirrel monkey clings to its mother's back at Qingdao Forest Wildlife Park, China.

A two-week old baby gorilla is cuddled by her mum, Mumba, a Western Lowland Gorilla, at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, Kent.

Born at Cincinnati Zoo,  US, this one-month old hedgehog is being hand reared by keepers until it is old enough to be included in the zoo's outreach programme.

Ludwig the baby elephant is clearly happy to be out and about at the Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo, Munich.

These cuties were born in February at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

This cub was born prematurely at Toronto Zoo. His mum rejected him soon after he was born, so he was cared for by staff at the zoo. Here he is making his debut in February.

This six-month old baby Western Lowland Gorilla is seen here enjoying the spring sunshine with her mother at Dublin Zoo.

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