Rare Wild Okapi Caught On Camera For First Time

It may not be Bigfoot, but a rare and elusive animal never before photographed in the wild has finally been caught on camera.

The okapi, an endangered animal that lives in Congo’s eastern rain forests, has not even been seen in its natural habit for a full 50 years. The last spotting was in 1958, leading to the animal’s reputation as the “unicorn” of the rain forest.

Today, though, the Zoological Society of London announced it had worked with the Congo Institute for Nature Conservation to set up unmanned cameras deep in the forests and had captured images of the okapi roaming around. Scientists say they’ve identified at least three unique animals and will continue looking for more. As of now, they’re not sure how many are still around, though most guesses put the number at around 200. Years of war in Congo combined with poaching have killed off many of the native species. Conservationists fear they could be extinct within a matter of two or three years.

The Okapi is most closely related to the giraffe.

(Images courtesy Zoological Society of London)