Okapi illustration by Sir Harry Johnston, 1901 (credit: public domain)
The okapi is one of Africa's rarest animals. A relative of the giraffe, it was only scientifically identified in 1901 and is endemic solely to rainforests in the Republic of the Congo. It is classified on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List as threatened and endangered.
The Congo's Okapi Wildlife Reserve and Maiko National Park support okapi populations but there has been a steady decline due to threats including deforestation, the bushmeat trade, and civil war. Congolese botanist Corneille Ewango, recipient of a Goldman Environmental Prize, presents his work at the reserve and his efforts to protect it from these consistent threats to its survival.