World Okapi Day 2023: Theme, Interesting facts, Significance, History and Celebration

Every year, the World Okapi Day is celebrated across the globe on October 18 to create awareness about Okapi, a magnificent species of the giraffe family. To garner worldwide attention to protect okapi and their environment from different possible threats (especially human), this day is observed. Let us learn something more about World Okapi Day 2023 here from this article.

World Okapi Day 2023 Date

Check the date for celebration of world okapi day:

World Okapi Day 2023October 18, 2023Wednesday
World Okapi Day 2024October 18, 2024Friday
World Okapi Day 2025October 18, 2025Saturday
World Okapi Day 2026October 18, 2026Sunday
World Okapi Day 2027October 18, 2027Monday

World Okapi Day 2023 Overview

EventWorld Okapi Day 2023
DateOctober 18, 2023
Declared byIUCN Species Survival Commission
Observed byWorldwide
Purpose of celebrationTo garner worldwide attention to protect the okapi and their environment.

Also check:

World Gibbon DayMole Day
National Ayurveda DayWorld snow leopard day

Interesting facts about Okapi

Let us check some lesser-known interesting facts about okapi on this World Okapi Day:

  1. Most people assume okapi to be related to zebra family owing to their striped body.
  2. Not zebra, but okapi is a member of the giraffe family.
  3. Okapi is also known as forest giraffes, Congo giraffes, or zebra giraffes.
  4. One of the longest living species on the planet, a genetic study found that the common ancestor of giraffe and okapi lived about 11.5 million years ago.
  5. Okapi became known to the western world only in the 20th century, 1901 to be precise.
  6. Due to their shy and elusive nature, okapi are rarely seen and are difficult to keep their track and count. However, there are about 35,000 okapi in natural habitat.
  7. Leopards are their main natural predators but humans are more threatening to okapis than leopards.
  8. Okapi in a zoo is a very rare sight.
  9. Okapi emit noises that are too low for the human ear to detect.
  10. The oldest okapi was 33 years old and it lived at a zoo. In the wild, their life expectancy is about 15-20 years.

Significance of World Okapi Day

Due to illegal logging, mining, hunting, and agriculture in forests, the population of Okapi is dropping fast. Mining in the forests of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in search of coltan, a dull, black metallic ore found in phones and electronic devices is the main reason for which the habitat of Okapi is disturbed. Recycling such devices can reduce the need for mining and will help save these beautiful creatures. Training specialized law enforcement rangers, deforestation projects, educational programs, and the continued monitoring of okapi populations are some other ways through which these animals can be saved from extinction.

To draw attention of people all over the globe towards the action needed to protect okapi,  World Okapi Day 2023 will be observed on October 18, 2023.

Check: Other days in October

History of World Okapi Day Observation

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an international organization that works towards nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission was the first to raise the issue of extinction of Okapi.

This body started the observation of World Okapi Day every year on 18 October. The first World Okapi Day was been held in 2016 and is celebrated every year since.

World Okapi Day 2023 Celebration

World Okapi Day celebrates this special animal and urges people to come together towards protection of the species. On this occasion, many exciting activities are planned in villages around the Okapi Wildlife reserve which are combined with educational messaging targeting key demographics including children, women and communities. People can visit the nearest zoo or okapi holding facility to watch these animals with their own eyes and get to learn more about them. Spreading word of awareness about this animal and this day is a great way of celebrating World Okapi Day.

You can post your best okapi photos on social media with the hashtags #OkapiConservation and #WorldOkapiDay on all your okapi-related posts. Gifting money card, however small value it may hold, to the Okapi Conservation Project can help a lot in protecting okapi and its habitat. You can also host your own okapi awareness event and share the details to to get featured on their social media channels.


When do we celebrate World Okapi Day?


Is there any theme to celebrate World Okapi Day 2023?

There is no theme to celebrate World Okapi Day in any year.

Who started the observance of World Okapi Day?

Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission

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