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Type of publication: Diploma Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2010

Authors: Pfeiffenberger, Ulrike

Title: Reproduktionsprobleme bei in Gefangenschaft gehaltenen Okapis (Okapi johnstoni).

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 58.


Schwarzenberger Franz

Walzer Christian

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute for Medical Biochemistry

The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni), a member of the family giraffidae, was discovered around 1900. The first living Okapi in captivity (in Antwerp, 1918) was ID 3 “Tele”, a female calf. Since the beginning of serious breeding efforts around 1950, there have been problems with reproduction in Okapis. Although the captive population of okapis increased between 1970 and 2000, the growth of the worldwide population of captive Okapis during the past decade was stagnating. Today there are 165 animals in captivity; 55 Okapis are kept in the EEP (Europe), 94 are kept in the SSP (US and Japan) and 16 okapis are kept in Epulu, DRC Congo, Africa (status November 2009). In the present diploma thesis hormone profiles were analysed, with the main aim to the possible causes for reproductive problems in the okapi. Further, the international Okapi Studbook [] was statistically evaluated. Special attention was given to the high mortality of the juvenile okapis. In the present diploma thesis no single cause for the reproductive problems was found. After analysing the results it is noticeable, that the reproductive problems of the captive okapi population are multifactorially conditioned. Optimization of the feeding and keeping, as well as genetic management (in combination with the possible development of artificial insemination) seem to be an essential to improve the reproduction of okapis in captivity.

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