Out of Africa: Journey to Save Okapi

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Out of Africa: Journey to Save Okapi


When you step into Jaama Kwa: Connection to Africa in just a few short months, you will be
immersed in the African culture through animal and exhibit interaction. You will see how the people of Africa interact with animals and the impacts these interactions have on species and habitat survival.

In preparation for our exhibit opening (May 4!), we hope you’ll join us for a conservation series that honors three majestic African animals. Next Thursday, Feb. 28, we invite you to join us as we honor the okapi, presented by John Lukas. John is the founder and president of the Okapi Conservation Project, which raises funds for and works to protect the preservation of the okapi by supporting rangers and assisting local communities.


John Lukas, President of Okapi Conservation Project and keynote for the Okapi Conservation Series event Thursday, Feb. 28

Found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the okapi is the only living relative of the giraffe. This elusive and shy forest dweller has unusual markings, including zebra-like stripes, which provide a camouflage for the okapi in the rainforest. Okapi are vulnerable to hunting and poaching in addition to more than a decade of civil unrest. 



Okapi, the only living relative of the giraffe

John Lukas founded the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) in 1987, which serves to protect the okapi from poaching. OCP created the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in 1992 to provide shelter to the species in its native habitat, the Ituri Forest. In 2011, the Reserve headquarters were vandalized by poachers in an attack, which was due to the OCP’s efforts to prevent the illegal activity. OCP has worked to restore surrounding communities that were also attacked, creating a strong commitment to conservation locally, as the community works together to protect the okapi’s forest home.

Learn more about the work to protect the okapi and how you can help Thursday, Feb. 28. We’ll have a social with appetizers from 6 to 7 pm with the presentation beginning at 7 pm. Purchase your tickets today – seating is limited!



And, mark your calendars for the next two conservation series events: Great Cats by Amy Dickman on Thursday, March 28 and Rhinos by Bill Konstant on Thursday, April 25. Tickets can be purchased for an individual event or at a discount for all three. The conservation series is discounted for Blank Park Zoo membersclick here for more information and to register today.

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02/21/2013 12:20 PM |Add a comment
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