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A South American Tapir in King Arthur's Court

This beautifully camouflaged baby tapir was recently born at the UK's Marwell Zoo. Also known as the Brazilian Tapir (or ALF on 1980's American TV), the South American Tapir uses its mobile snout to hunt for its all-veggie diet of leaves, buds and twigs. 

Baby tapir marwell zoo



Brazilian tapir and mum rs


Marwell Wildlife is celebrating the recent birth of a Brazilian tapir. The humbug-striped baby girl was born on Tuesday 21 July as part of a conservation breeding programme for the species. The new arrival was born after a 13 month gestation to proud mum Summer, who arrived at Marwell Wildlife with her partner Ronny three months ago.

Brazilian tapirs live in the Amazon rainforest and spend much of their time foraging near water, which they also use as an escape route from predators such as jaguars. They are able to stay submerged for hours using their long noses to breathe through, just like a snorkel.

Like all baby tapirs, the little girl was born with a beautiful coat of pale spots and stripes on a reddish brown background, which help camouflage the baby whilst on dry land. “With her cute spots and stripes making her look just like a little humbug, she is just so cute and definitely has the ‘aww factor’ said David Schofield, Head keeper for the tapirs.

At around 10 kilograms, the as yet unnamed baby girl is the size of a small dog and will eventually grow to be the size of a large pig. She can be seen along with her parents at Marwell Wildlife now.

Although not as critically endangered as the Malayan tapir, the Brazilian tapirs’ natural habitat in South America is increasingly under threat from deforestation. They are currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.