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Rare Relatives of Giraffe Die at Zoo

December 29, 1985|Associated Press

LISBON — A pair of okapis, rare relatives of the giraffe, died at the Lisbon Zoo five days after arriving from Zaire as a gift of its president, Mobutu Sese Seko, zoo officials said.

The zoo said the cause of their death Christmas Day was not known, and autopsies will be conducted.

The pair, a 4-year-old female and 2-year-old male, were flown to Portugal from Zaire attended by a Zairean veterinarian. They were valued at more than $150,000, the zoo said.

Okapis have long necks for their antelope-like bodies, but are much smaller than much smaller, normally reaching five feet at shoulder level.

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