Meghan Markle gets a namesake Okapi in London Zoo


LONDON: Meghan Markle, the American actress who is engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry, has a new namesake after London zoo named a just-born Okapi after her in honour of her wedding in May. The zoo is hopeful that it will be a friend for their male, named Harry.

Meghan the Okapi was born on December 9, 2017, to Oni, in a roughly 30-minute labour captured on camera by zookeepers. The zoo released the first pictures of the animal in recent days.

Meghan the Okapi

Okapis are members of the giraffe family – though they do not have the long neck. Native to the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are notable for zebra-like stripes on their hindquarters and upper legs.

“We’re very pleased with how mother and baby are doing. Oni is being very attentive, making sure she regularly licks her clean and keeping a watchful eye on Meghan as she sleeps,” zookeeper Gemma Metcalf said in a statement.

Okapis are listed as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. Researchers cited by the San Diego Zoo estimate that around 25,000 Okapis remain in the wild.

Markle is due to wed Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne, in May of 2018.