Hoofing it: poster about okapis wins first prize

Our scientists can justly be proud of themselves: their research was highly acclaimed at the Wildlife Research and Conservation (WRC) 2023 conference in Berlin. The scientifically founded infographic by master’s degree student João Pedro Meireles on aggressive behaviour by male okapis during mating introductions won first prize in the poster competition. Through this poster, he is putting the expertise of Antwerp ZOO in the spotlights in a visually attractive manner. As the keeper of the studbook and coordinator of the European breeding programme for this species, the zoo supervised the research presented on the scientific poster.

‘Male okapis often display aggressive behaviour during the mating procedure. The research we conducted showed that this occurs primarily among pairs that are only introduced to one another for mating precisely when the female is ovulating. We therefore advise putting potential couples in the same enclosure more frequently, with the aim of promoting the successful breeding of okapis in a zoo environment,’ explains Zjef Pereboom, manager for research and nature conservation at the Antwerp ZOO Centre for Research and Conversation (CRC). Pereboom supervised the research culminating in the poster together with animal care manager Sander Hofman. ‘The data collected by João Pedro Meireles were derived from the studbook and questions to colleagues in European zoos that currently keep okapis or have kept them in the past.’


Want to see the poster from close up? Download the poster here.