In case you needed an absolute overdose of sugary cuteness today, may we present to you this baby okapi, the Houston Zoo's newest resident.
This as-yet-unnamed baby boy was born at the Houston Zoo November 6, and weighed in at about 40 pounds. He's the first okapi, or "forest giraffe," to be successfully born at the Houston Zoo, according to zoo officials.
If you have no idea what an okapi is -- other than how stinkin' cute its fuzzy little face is, of course -- you're not alone. These guys are native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa, and are on the endangered list due to some serious poaching and habitat destruction.
And according to zoo officials, okapi have unfortunately faced even more challenges than just poachers in recent years, despite efforts to protect them.
In 2012, a rebel attack on the Okapi Conservation Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo left six wildlife guards and 14 okapi stationed at the reserve dead. The Houston Zoo was one of the first to respond to the breaking news, and organized a zoo-wide effort to provide support, according to officials.
Those challenges make this okapi's birth even more exciting, and luckily, this little forest giraffe is rockin' along quite well with his mama, Tulia, according to zoo officials. The two will continue to bond over the next couple of weeks.
Super-cute overload, right?
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