He's two weeks old and happy to be alive: Jackson, the newest okapi born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, couldn't keep his excitement contained on Tuesday as he pranced around his new barn.
Born July 6, Jackson stays close to his mother, Ayana. He's still nursing, park officials said, but he's very interested in plants and watches his mother carefully when she eats. He is weighed daily so his keepers can make sure he's getting the right nutrition and in order to make a connection with staff. At birth, he weighed 57 pounds, and now tips the scales at 80.
The endangered okapi is difficult to find in its natural habitat in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and scientists didn't even know the animal existed until 1900. While they do resemble zebras, okapi are actually the closest living relative to the giraffe. Their large ears are adorable, but also serve an important purpose; okapi can hear low-frequency sounds that humans can't.
Watch the video below to see adorable Jackson in action. --Catherine Garcia