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Energetic, curious and just a little clumsy, meet "Eli," a 3-month-old okapi calf at the San Diego Zoo. He already weighs 192 pounds and is developing a big personality to match! Tap the link in our bio to learn more. 📹: @sandiegozoo #babyanimals #SanDiegoZoo #fox5sandiego
SAN DIEGO — An adorable okapi calf is getting his legs under him at the San Diego Zoo.
Okapi, the closest living relatives of the giraffe, are an endangered species in their native Africa due to hunting and habitat loss, according to the zoo. But the new baby — named Elombe and affectionately known as “Eli” — is the second healthy calf born at the zoo in less than two years.
Now three months old and already weighing in at 192 pounds, the zoo says Eli “is growing strong and confident — and he can be seen exploring his expanded habitat with a keen fascination and curiosity for his surroundings.”
Those who work closely with Eli say the young calf has a big personality. “The first time Eli went out on exhibit, he trotted right up to the “howdy” fence where grandmother Safarani and (the other young calf) Mosi were standing on the other side,” the zoo wrote in a release. “He seems quiet at first, staring at keepers and his environment; then all of a sudden, he gets this huge burst of energy and off he goes, checking out everything!”
Okapi are rarely seen in the wild by humans because they are very cautious and use their highly developed hearing to alert them to anything approaching from a considerable distance, the zoo says.