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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Each man was given a large hunting knife and two smaller weapons known as okapi knives.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

okapi \o*ka"pi\, n. [Native name on the borders of Belgian Congo, possibly the same word as Mpongwe okapo lean.] A peculiar mammal ( Okapia johnstoni) closely related to the giraffe, discovered in the deep forests of Belgian Congo in 1900. It is smaller than an ox, and somewhat like a giraffe, except that the neck is much shorter. Like the giraffe, it has no dewclaws. There is a small prominence on each frontal bone of the male. The color of the body is chiefly reddish chestnut, the cheeks are yellowish white, and the fore and hind legs above the knees and the haunches are striped with purplish black and cream color.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

short-necked giraffe of central Africa, 1900, from the animal's name in Mbuba (Congo). Reported by English explorer Sir Harry Johnston (1858-1927).


n. A large ruminant mammal, ''Okapia johnstoni'', found in the rainforests of the Congo, related to the giraffe, but with a much shorter neck, a reddish brown coat and zebra-like stripes on its hindquarters.


n. similar to the giraffe but smaller with much shorter neck and stripe on the legs [syn: Okapia johnstoni]


The okapi (Okapia johnstoni), is a giraffid artiodactyl mammal native to the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Although the okapi bears striped markings reminiscent of zebras, it is most closely related to the giraffe. The okapi and the giraffe are the only living members of the family Giraffidae. The okapi stands about tall at the shoulder and has an average body length of about . Its weight ranges from . It has a long neck, and large, flexible ears. Its coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs and white ankles. Male okapis have short, hair-covered horns called ossicones, less than in length. Females possess hair whorls, and ossicones are absent.

Okapis are primarily diurnal but may be active for a few hours in darkness. They are essentially solitary, coming together only to breed. Okapis are herbivores, feeding on tree leaves and buds, grasses, ferns, fruits, and fungi. Rut in males and estrus in females does not depend on the season. In captivity, estrous cycles recur every 15 days. The gestational period is around 440 to 450 days long, following which usually a single calf is born. The juveniles are kept in hiding, and nursing takes place infrequently. Juveniles start taking solid food from three months, and weaning takes place at six months.

Okapis inhabit canopy forests at altitudes of . They are endemic to the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where they occur across the central, northern and eastern regions. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) classifies the okapi as Endangered. Major threats include habitat loss due to logging and human settlement. Extensive hunting for bushmeat and skin and illegal mining have also led to a decline in populations. The Okapi Conservation Project was established in 1987 to protect okapi populations.

Okapi (knife)


Three Okapi slipjoint knives]]

The Okapi is a lockback or slipjoint knife originally produced in 1902 for export to Germany's colonies in Africa. The knife takes its name from the giraffe-like central African okapi.

Okapi knives are no longer produced in Germany; in 1988, Okapi South Africa (then trading as All Round Tooling) bought the trademark and tooling and began producing the Okapi line of knives in South Africa. The South African Okapi lockback knives are produced with carbon or stainless steel blades, with or without serrations. The most commonly found Okapi knives in Africa are made of resin impregnated wood (usually cherry) and the blades are made of 1055 carbon steel.

Okapi (disambiguation)

Okapi is a giraffid artiodactyl mammal native to the Ituri Rainforest in central Africa

Okapi may also refer to:

  • De Havilland Okapi, a British two-seat day bomber of the 1910s built by de Havilland
  • Okapi (knife), a lockback or slipjoint knife originally produced in 1902 for export to Germany's colonies in Africa
  • Okapi BM25, a ranking function used by search engines to rank matching documents according to their relevance to a given search query
  • Okapi Framework (localization), an environment to build inter-operable tools for the different steps of the translation and localization process
  • Okapi MPV, a 6 x 6 mine-protected vehicle (MPV) which can be configured for command and control, fire control post or specialised anti-mine equipment carrier
  • Okapi Wildlife Reserve, a World Heritage Site in the Ituri Forest in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Radio Okapi, a radio network that operates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Usage examples of "okapi".

Williams was especially anxious to capture alive an okapi, one of the wiliest of African creatures, and Ki-Gor, Tembu George and Helene had agreed to lend a hand in the difficult task.

The wildebeests or elands or okapis are where they thought, in the numbers and condition they estimated.

Naked pelvises sat astride the ivory-colored spines of horses and mules, zebras and okapis, kudu and pronghorn.

They've agreed to let us keep a few of the major exhibits: the bongo and okapi, Ahmed of Marsabit, the record Nile perch, the last impala, the last cheetah.

And so he rushed from one side of the boat to the other while a team of twenty stout helladotheria, looking something like giant okapis, were hitched to the craft in preparation for its being hauled up the long rollered way to Muriah.