Tapir

Tapir Calf Makes His Debut

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A Tapir calf born on February 27 at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Brno made his media debut at the ripe old age of four days!

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10865951_854118047959948_2961697233514094174_oPhoto Credit:  Zoo Brno

Known as Lowland or South American Tapirs, young calves of this species sport white stripes and spots, which offer excellent camouflage in the dappled shade of the forest.  As they grow, calves lose their spots and turn a solid grayish-brown color.

Lowland tapirs rest in the forest during the day, and emerge at night to feed on leaves, bark, and fruits.  They are good swimmers, and will enter rivers to shed skin parasites or escape predators.

Tapirs’ long, flexible snouts are their most unusual feature.  Called a proboscis, this snout is actually made up of the upper lip and nose.  The proboscis can grasp food and strip leaves from trees and small shrubs.

In their native range, which covers large portions of eastern South America, Lowland Tapirs are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Tapirs are hunted for their hides and meat.  Loss of forest habitat also contributes to their decline.   


Tiny Tapir Makes New Year’s Eve Appearance

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A tiny new arrival managed to make a big appearance just hours before 2014 drew to a close, at Edinburgh Zoo. A male Malayan Tapir was born to mother, ‘Sayang’, and first time father, ‘Mogli’, in the early hours of December 31st.

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Tapir2Photo Credits: Maria Dorrian

Lorna Hughes, Hoofstock Team Leader, said, “The last birth of the year at Edinburgh Zoo, the calf has had a big impact on keepers and visitors already. ‘Mekong’, named after the delta river which flows through where they are found in the wild, is lively and very distinctive.

“Although they are not genetically related and are much larger, Malayan Tapirs are similar in build to pigs, but have noses and upper lips that form a long prehensile snout and large, barrel shaped bodies made for crashing through dense forest vegetation. Adult tapirs are black, with a white or grey midsection, whilst youngsters like Mekong are born with spots and stripes all over their small bodies, face and legs. Mekong’s adult coloration will come in between four and seven months of age. When Mekong is fully grown he is likely to stand at over three feet tall and be up to eight feet in length, weighing up to 900 pounds.”

“Sayang is a great mum with lots of experience as she has had five babies now and really knows the ropes. Tapirs are pregnant for around 13 months so it is great to finally see another healthy calf being born. However, although we are very pleased with his progress and he is putting on weight steadily, the first week or so is a sensitive time for mother and baby.” 

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Lolita the Tapir Explores Her Neighborhood

1_Baby Tapir Lolita at Cotswold Wildlife Park

Cotswold Wildlife Park, in the UK, is celebrating their first Brazilian Tapir birth since 2006! The calf has been named ‘Lolita’ and was born to first-time parents, ‘Gomez’ and ‘Cali’. 

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3_Baby Lolita nose-to-nose with mother Cali

4_Tapir baby walkingPhoto Credits: Georgia Dicks-age 11 (photo 2); Cotswold Wildlife Park (photos 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)

Visitors can see the new calf exploring the enclosure she shares with her parents, alongside the world’s largest rodent species, the Capybara. Both species are native to South America, but Tapirs can also be found in Central America and Malaysia.

Baby Tapirs are striking in appearance and visually differ greatly from the adults. For the first few weeks of their lives, the mother will make sure the vulnerable calf is hidden in thick foliage in the forest while she leaves to browse for food. The young Tapirs coats are covered with stripes and spots, which mimic the speckled sunlight on the forest floor. This enables the calf to brilliantly camouflage itself, in the wild, against predators. When Lolita was first born, visitors were unaware that a newborn Tapir was just feet away from them until keepers pointed the baby out.

Cotswold Wildlife Park has a successful history breeding Tapirs, as part of an Endangered Species Breeding Programme. Tapirs have a gestation period of approximately 13 months, and now that the baby has arrived, the young breeding pair, Gomez and Cali, are proving to be excellent parents. Lolita is growing up to be a confident, independent youngster, as well as a welcome addition to the Mammals section.

Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, said, “We have done incredibly well with this species in the past, but we are delighted to have a first calf from our new pair. The initial introduction between the adults did not go exactly to plan, and it was a relief to us all when they finally settled together.”

These unusual creatures have changed little over tens of millions of years. Fossils of Tapir ancestors have been found on every continent except Antarctica. Tapirs are Brazil’s largest mammal and are related to horses and rhinoceroses. Brazilian Tapirs live in wet forests and grasslands in South America where population numbers are declining due to habitat loss and hunting. They are classified as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Tapirs are a key species in shaping the biological diversity of tropical forests. A recent study of lowland Tapirs revealed 122 different seed species in their dung, making them masters at dispersing seeds and vital components in their ecosystem. 

More amazing pics, below the fold!

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Chester Zoo's Little Tapir Noses In

Tapir-33Zoo keepers at the United Kingdom’s Chester Zoo have announced the birth of a baby Brazilian Tapir.  Though he’s tiny now, the calf will double in weight in his first 14-21 days!

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Tapir-17Photo Credit:  Steve Rawlins

The calf was born on August 4 to female Jenny after a gestation period of around 13 months. The new youngster – the first male to be born at the zoo in eight years - has already been given the name Zathras.

Curator of Mammals Tim Rowlands said, “Our new calf, Zathras, was up and about really quickly and he and mum are doing fine. Jenny is an experienced mum and she’s doing a top job.

“His brown coat currently features lots of white stripes and spots which will eventually disappear as he gets to around six-to-nine months old. The markings act as camouflage in the wild – mimicking speckled sunlight on the forest floor.”

Wild Brazilian Tapirs, which are also called Lowland Tapirs, live in wet forests and grasslands in South America where they are threatened because of habitat destruction and hunting. They are classed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Chester Zoo supports research on Tapir behavior patterns in hopes of safeguarding the future of the species.  Tapirs are increasingly hunted for their meat and hides, which are used to make sandals.

 


Denver Zoo's Second Malayan Tapir Birth Goes Smoothly

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Denver Zoo is celebrating the birth of an endangered Malayan Tapir calf! The male calf, named Baku (Bah-koo), was born to mother, Rinny, and father, Benny, late in the evening on April 29. He the second offspring of this pair, and only the second birth of his species at the zoo.

Fortunately, his delivery was much easier than the first. The first calf, Dumadi, was born in September 2012. While his birth was normal, the events immediately following were difficult. After Rinny unsuccessfully attempted to free Dumadi from his amniotic sac, two staff members raced in to free the newborn from the sac, providing mouth-to-snout rescue breaths and manually stimulating the newborn for regular breathing in order to expel liquid from his lungs. After a few minutes of rescue efforts, Dumadi successfully began to breathe on his own.

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Fortunately, Baku's delivery went smoothly, and the newborn calf is healthy. He will remain behind the scenes in Toyota Elephant Passage while being cared for by his mother until they are comfortable enough to venture outdoors. Until then, visitors can see live, closed-circuit video of Baku on monitors inside Toyota Elephant Passage.

'Baku' is the Japanese word for tapir. Baku are also supernatural spirits in Chinese and Japanese folklore that take children’s nightmares away and protect against evil. They are often depicted as having some tapir-like physical characteristics.

Malayan Tapirs are the only tapir native to Asia. Once found throughout Southeast Asia, they now inhabit only the rainforests of the Indochinese peninsula and Sumatra. With a wild population of less than 2,000 individuals they are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat loss and hunting.

See and read more after the fold.

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Palm Beach Zoo Welcomes Baby Baird's Tapir

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An endangered female Baird’s Tapir born on February 17 at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is the Zoo’s first birth of 2014. The calf was named Luna in a naming contest at nearby Palmetto Elementary School. 

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Photo Credit:  Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society


Jan Steele, General Curator for the Zoo, said from its birth, the calf has been in good health, and has been gaining weight at a steady rate. “At first, we monitored the calf, but gave Alyssa space to strengthen her bond with her baby,” explained Steele. “Because Alyssa rejected her first calf, we wanted to make sure she allowed this second one to nurse.” 

Zoo keepers had been studying methods to increase the likelihood that Alyssa would accept this calf, and had given her “scratch-downs” which calmed her and allowed multiple ultrasounds that showed the calf’s progress before it was born.

The calf’s weight was 40.5 pounds on March 7, when she was seventeen days old. Zoo keepers said the calf is on target to double in weight within her first three to four weeks of life, as Tapirs are expected to do.

See more photos and videos, and learn more about Tapirs below the fold.

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Keepers Step In to Care for Baby Tapir

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Reid Park Zoo’s first baby of the year is a very special little one:  a Baird’s Tapir that was rejected by his mother and is now under the care of zoo keepers.

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Photo Credit:  Reid Park Zoo 

After a 13-month gestation, female Tapir Contessa delivered the male calf on January 4.  While both mom and calf are healthy, Contessa did not nurse her calf and became aggressive toward him, prompting keepers to remove the baby for hand-rearing.

Zoo officials stress that hand-rearing baby animals is very rare at the zoo, but this calf’s importance to captive breeding efforts made him an exception.  

The Reid Park Zoo participates in the Baird’s Tapir Species Survival Plan®, a managed breeding program designed to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically stable group of animals.

Baird’s Tapirs are nocturnal creatures native to Mexico and Central America. Their flexible snouts are used to grab vegetation.  Baird’s Tapirs are endangered, due primarily to deforestation and illegal hunting.


Tiny Tapir Born at ZooParc de Beauval

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Photo Credit:  ZooParc de Beauval

France’s ZooParc de Beauval welcomed a male Brazilian Tapir calf on November 12.  The calf, which has not yet been named, was born to experienced mother Florales.

Like all Brazilian Tapir calves, this little one has a dappled coat, which helps provide camouflage in the rain forest.  Once he reaches eight to nine months of age, he will develop the solid-colored coat of an adult tapir. 

Tapirs have an elongated, flexible proboscis which can move in all directions.  It is used to grab leaves and shoots that may otherwise be out of reach. 

Brazilian Tapirs, also known as Lowland or South American Tapirs, are born with white spots and stripes which act as camouflage in the wild, mimicking the dappled sunlight on the forest floor. These markings will disappear by the time the calves are about six months old. These animals are most active during the night and are found in the tropics of South and Central America. Tapirs have a short trunk, which they use to grab branches and leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. They feed in the morning and evening. They are excellent swimmers and can dive to feed on aquatic plants.

Brazilian Tapirs are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, due to deforestation and hunting.


Minnesota Zoo Welcomes First Baby Tapir Born in Twenty Years

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The Minnesota Zoo announced the birth of this Malayan Tapir calf, the first born at the Zoo in more than 20 years. The newborn, a female, came into the world at approximately 9:15 p.m. on July 20, after a 419-day gestation period. Mom, Bertie, and her calf are doing well and are currently off-exhibit together, giving them time to bond. But you can watch them on the zoo's Tapir Cam.

The Malayan Tapir is one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia. Tapir populations are declining due to habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural purposes, flooding caused by dam building for hydroelectric projects, and illegal trade.

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Photo Credit: Minnesota Zoo

Watch the baby and mom in action:

Read more after the fold.

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Help Name Dublin Zoo's Brazilian Tapir Calf

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Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of a Brazilian Tapir! The male calf, born on July 1 to mom Rio and dad Marmaduke, is the breeding pair’s second calf. He has an older brother, Marmaduke Junior or "MJ", who was born at Dublin Zoo in June 2012. Dublin Zoo is inviting people to suggest names for the male Tapir calf based on his Brazilian origin. You can submit your suggestions through the zoo's Facebook page

“We are delighted with the birth of the Tapir calf," says team leader Eddie O’Brien. "He is already getting on really well with his older brother MJ, who is very protective of him. The calf was up and about quickly after he was born; he is already more adventurous than his older brother was at his age!”

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Photo Credits: Dublin Zoo

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