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Is it a zebra or a giraffe? Potawatomi Zoo welcomes newest residents

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- What has four legs, a giraffe’s neck, and a zebra’s stripes?

It’s an okapi!

For the first time ever, a zoo in Indiana welcomes the animal and it happens to be South Bend’s Potawatomi Zoo.

The zoo opened its Okapi Conservation Center Saturday.

Marcy Dean explains more about the rare animal.

“Okapi are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; so low lying forest in Africa and their closely related to a giraffe. They have a very unique looking body and that’s what very intresting to people so you'll see they have the head and neck of a giraffe and the long tongue, but then when they turn around, their bottoms look like the back of a zebra. So we hear that a lot,” said Dean. “We've never seen an okapi before and they kind of look like giraffe-zebra mix and that’s exactly right and that’s what makes them so unique. But they're also very rare. [Okapi] are critically endangered and so great for Potawatomi Zoo to have them right here in our area because there’s only just over 20 zoos that have them, and no zoos in Indiana until now, and no zoos in Michigan. Were just overjoyed to have these boys here and I just welcome everyone to come out and meet Potawatomi Zoo’s newest residents.”

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