London zoo names newborn okapi after Meghan Markle
Okapis are members of the giraffe family and are notable for zebra-like stripes on their hind quarters and upper legs.
LONDON - Meghan Markle, the American actress who is engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry, has a new namesake after London zoo named a just-born okapi after her in honour of her wedding in May.
Meghan the okapi was born on 9 December 2017 to Oni, in a roughly 30-minute labour captured on camera by zookeepers. The zoo released the first pictures of the animal in recent days.
Okapis are members of the giraffe family - though they do not have the long neck. Native to the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are notable for zebra-like stripes on their hindquarters and upper legs.
“We’re very pleased with how mother and baby are doing. Oni is being very attentive, making sure she regularly licks her clean and keeping a watchful eye over Meghan as she sleeps,” zookeeper Gemma Metcalf said in a statement.
⭐️EXCITING NEWS ⭐️ An #endangered #okapi has been born! Zookeepers have named her Meghan, after Meghan Markle, in celebration of the upcoming #royalwedding https://t.co/wnlV2OH2ec pic.twitter.com/7jVyyEyFde— ZSL London Zoo (@zsllondonzoo) January 16, 2018
Okapis are listed as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. Researchers cited by the San Diego Zoo estimate that around 25,000 okapis remain in the wild.
Markle is due to wed Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne, in May of 2018.