DENVER – Two new members have joined the Denver Zoo family, a baby buffalo and endangered okapi calf.
The zoo said Labor Day took a whole new meaning last week welcoming the birth of a female Cape buffalo named Poncho and a rare, endangered male okapi calf named Romakari. Both baby calves are reportedly healthy and spending time with their moms.
Poncho was born on Labor Day to mom, Rain, and is the second Cape buffalo born at the zoo in the last few months. Cape buffalo are native to southern and eastern Africa, known to be territorial, protective and pretty big, weighing in at as much as 2,000 lbs.
Poncho is viewable to the public as she has spent ample time in the herd’s outdoor habitat, according to the zoo.
Romakari was born Sunday afternoon to mom, Almasi, and will likely remain behind the scenes for at least a month until zookeepers are confident he will follow his mom outdoors. The species is like a cross between a zebra and giraffe with long necks, long purple tongues, black and white striped legs, and reddish bodies.
They are only native to the Ituri Forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo and are classified as an “endangered” species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This is due to logging, human settlement and hunting, the zoo said.
Romakari is the 8th okapi calf born to the Denver Zoo.
The zoo said its animal care and veterinary staff are monitoring the animals closely as they explore their first weeks of life.