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At 07:24 PM 01/08/98 -0700, you wrote:
>ah, but weren't the okapi (the okapi) and the orangutan (the original 'old
>the forest) both parts of primitive folklore and discussed amongst
>anthropologists as mythological creatures before either actually showed up?
First of all, we are talking about a century (more for the orang) ago; the
okapi was discovered in 1900. Of course such creatures were known to local
people, who just accepted them as part of the landscape; stories filtered back
to Europe about okapis for some time. The gorilla might be an even better
In the Okapi's case, once serious searching began hard evidence turned up
pretty quickly. Harry Johnston, who discovered the okapi, did not arrive in
Uganda until 1899; he travelled into the range of the okapi in July 1899, and
found skin of it almost immediately, used for soldiers' bandoliers; these were
used as the basis for the first description; only a few months later Johnston
received two skulls and a skin.
The most thorough account I have of this is a children's book by Miriam
Schlein, "On the Track of the Mystery Animal: The Story of the Discovery of
Okapi (Four Winds Press, 1978).
Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 mailto:email@example.com