Poncho was born at the Denver Zoo on Labor Day.
Labor Day weekend took on new meaning at Denver Zoo this past weekend with the births of a female Cape buffalo named Poncho and a rare, endangered male okapi calf named Romakari. Both calves are healthy and thriving under the protective care of their mothers, and being closely monitored by the zoo’s animal care and veterinary staff.
Poncho, who was born on Monday morning to mom, Rain, is the second Cape buffalo calf to be born at Denver Zoo in recent months. Mabel, who is Rain’s granddaughter, arrived in early May, and is growing quickly and becoming more independent. Cape buffalo are found in southern and eastern Africa, and are known for being particularly territorial, protective and sizeable, with males weighing as much as 2,000 lbs. Poncho is already spending the majority of her time in the herd’s outdoor habitat and is often easily viewable to visitors.
Meanwhile, Romakari, who was born on Sunday afternoon to mom, Almasi, is currently being kept behind the scenes, where he will likely remain for at least a month until keepers are confident he’ll follow Almasi outdoors. Okapis look a like a cross between a zebra and giraffe with long necks, reddish bodies, black-and-white striped legs, and long, purple prehensile tongues. They are native only to the Ituri Forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo and are listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, primarily due to logging, human settlement and hunting. Romakari is the eighth okapi calf born at Denver Zoo and, like Poncho, the second of his species to be born at the Zoo in recent months.
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