The Animals Behind the Legends: Unicorns

In this new series of articles, The Nature Nook will be taking a look at a variety of legendary creatures from around the world, along with the animals that may have inspired them. For our first foray into the realm of myth and magic, we’ll be focusing on the famous unicorn. Although today it is considered a pure, gentle creature of fantasy, the unicorn in ancient times was described as a tough, violent beast, capable of running through an armoured warrior with its single horn.

Okapi: The African Unicorn

Deep in the dense tropical rainforests of the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa, there lurks a very curious creature. With its long legs and predominantly dark brown coat of short fur, it looks, at first glance, a bit like a horse, though a second look will reveal a somewhat deer-like face atop a relatively long, flexible neck, and, most strikingly, horizontal white stripes on its upper legs and rump.

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