Lack of knowledge endangers the okapi as little field research has been done on the species due to its inaccessible habitat and reclusive nature.
Knowledge of okapi social behavior comes primarily from observations of captive animals. Okapi courtship and mating rituals are only known from observations done in zoos.
A great danger to the okapi is lack of knowledge about it outside of zoos. Little field research has been done on the species due to its inaccessible habitat and reclusive nature.
Immediately following their discovery in 1900, zoos around the world attempted to obtain okapis from the wild. These initial attempts were accompanied by a high mortality rate due to the rigors of traveling thousands of miles by boat and by train. In more recent years, shipment by airplane has proven more successful. Today, many zoos keep and breed okapis, and many people visit these zoos each year to see them.
Sources: (Bodmer & Rabb, 1992; Grzimek 1990; Kingdon 1979; Palkovacs, 2000; San Diego Zoo Global, 2017)