Okapi – Uniqueness
Saving the best for last, genetic science and genetic interest, listening out for danger, connection to lightning spirits, connection to unicorn mythology, uniqueness, what you seek may elude you, watch for hidden opportunities, listen to the quiet truths and voices, camouflaged truths, the spirits around you are subtle, rainforest energy, living fossil, communicating in ways invisible to others, your spiritual truths are hiding, wait for your guides to come to you, new discoveries, stay vigilant.
Okapi are striking mammals with unique patterning, thought to be closely related to the giraffe, found in the Ituri Rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. They can resemble zebras from a distance, with a body type like that of giraffes with shorter necks. They have an oily coat that repels water. They have flexible, long, sticky blue-black tongues long enough that it can was its eyelids and clean its ears. They have large ears and good hearing. Males have skin-covered horns known as ossicones. They have an oily coat that easily repels water. They are thought to be diurnal, but will sometimes feed at night. They are herbivores that eat tree leaves and buds, charcoal from trees burnt by lightning, grass, ferns, fruit and fungi. Many of these varieties are poisonous to other animals, including humans.
They are solitary and only come together to breed. During breeding season they will sniff, circle and lick each other. Mothers use infrasonic communication to communicate with calves. They forage along fixed, well-established rainforest paths and have overlapping home ranges. They use scent to communicate, through glands on the foot and via their urine. They have been known as the African unicorn, and have been referred to as a living fossil. Some individuals have less chromosomes (45) rather than 46, making them a subject of genetic interest. They are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching, there are thought to be 10,000-20,000 left in the wild. They have been popular in mass communications and pop culture, being the emblem for a Society of Cryptozoology, referred to by comedians and writers like Douglas Adams. They were the last large African mammal species to become known to science.