An extract on #theislandwild
Female okapis become sexually mature at about one-and-a-half years old, while males reach maturity after two years. Rut in males and estrus in females does not depend on the season. In captivity, estrus cycles recur every 15 days. The male and the female begin courtship by circling, smelling and licking each other. The male shows his dominance by extending his neck, tossing his head and protruding one leg forward. This is followed by mounting and copulation.
The gestational period is around 440 to 450 days long, following which usually a single calf is born, weighing 1430 kg (3166 lb). The udder of the pregnant female starts swelling two months before parturition, and vulval discharges may occur. Parturition takes 34 hours, and the female stands throughout this period, though she may rest during brief intervals. The mother consumes the afterbirth and extensively grooms the infant. Her milk is very rich in proteins and low in fat.
As in other ruminants, the infant can stand within 30 minutes of birth. Although generally similar to adults, newborn calves have false eyelashes, a long dorsal mane and long white hairs in the stripes. These features gradually disappear and give way to the general appearance within a year. The juveniles are kept in hiding, and nursing takes place infrequently. The growth rate of calves is appreciably high in the first few months of birth, after which it gradually declines. Juveniles start taking solid food from three months, and weaning takes place at six months. Horn development in males takes one year after birth. The okapi's average lifespan is 20 to 30 years.
Opium is said to have been used for recreational purposes from the 14th century onwards in Muslim societies. Ottoman and European testimonies confirm that from the 16th to the 19th centuries Anatolian opium was eaten in Constantinople as much as it was exported to Europe. In 1573, for instance, a Venetian visitor to the Ottoman Empire observed many of the Turkish natives of Constantinople regularly drank a "certain black water made with opium" that makes them feel good, but to which they become so addicted, if they try to go without, they will "quickly die". From drinking it, dervishes claimed the drugs bestowed them with visionary glimpses of future happiness. Indeed, Turkey supplied the West with opium long before China and India.
Thomas de Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1822), one of the first and most famous literary accounts of opium addiction written from the point of view of an addict, details the pleasures and dangers of the drug. In the book, it is not Ottoman, nor Chinese, addicts about whom he writes, but English opium users: "I question whether any Turk, of all that ever entered the paradise of opium-eaters, can have had half the pleasure I had." De Quincey writes about the great English Romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (17721834), whose "Kubla Khan" is also widely considered to be a poem of the opium experience. Coleridge began using opium in 1791 after developing jaundice and rheumatic fever, and became a full addict after a severe attack of the disease in 1801, requiring 80100 drops of laudanum daily.
Extensive textual and pictorial sources also show that poppy cultivation and opium consumption were widespread in Safavid Iran and Mughal India.