30 years of protecting the mysterious Okapi; Shreya Dasgupta; Mongabay


DR of Congo – Okapi Wildlife Reserve

On June 1, the Okapi Conservation Project celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Mongabay interviewed John Lukas, the project’s founder, to learn more about the successes and challenges of okapi conservation.

  • The discovery of the elusive okapi, once believed to be a mythical unicorn, was one of the most exciting taxonomic findings of the twentieth century.
  • To protect this shy, giraffe-like animal, wildlife conservationist John Lukas founded the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) in 1987.
  • During the past three decades, the project team has seen both successes and challenges, from political unrest to a brutal rebel attack in 2012 that killed 6 people and 14 okapis.

The discovery of the elusive okapi, once believed to be a mythical unicorn, was one of the most exciting taxonomic findings of the twentieth century.

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