Watch Chester Zoo's latest arrival Usula the baby okapi being born - video

There are currently only 14 okapis in captivity in the UK at the moment

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The Independent Online

Staff at Chester Zoo have been welcoming their latest arrival this month when one of the zoo’s okapis gave birth to a new calf.

The amazing birth which happened on 30 April, was captured on video and shows the young calf’s first moments.

The tiny male okapi was named Usula and was born after his mother Stuma’s 14-and-a-half-month-long pregnancy.

Characterised by the zebra-like stripes on their legs, Okapis are in fact the closest relations of the giraffe. Okapis are found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite being protected under Congolese law, their numbers have significantly dropped in the wild over the past few decades, something largely due to illegal poaching.

Tim Rowlands, the curator of mammals at Chester Zoo said: “Sadly okapis and their close relatives, the giraffes, continue to be forgotten giants.

“We tend to hear a fair bit about the threats faced by elephants and rhinos while most people think that giraffes are fine.

“Giraffes and okapi are going through a silent extinction.

He added: “We need to start sticking our necks out for these species and hopefully being able to see the amazing arrival of Usala can really draw some much needed attention to these incredibly beautiful animals.”

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