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A beautiful new baby Malayan Tapir has come into the world - well, she's come to the Edinburgh Zoo!  The baby’s name is Nadira, which means  ‘precious gift’ in Malaysian. She was born on October 3, the fourth baby born to Edinburgh Zoo’s adult tapir pair, mum Sayang and dad Ka.  She's turning heads with her unique look. 

Hoofstock team leader Lorna Hughes said: “We’re really pleased with how both mum and daughter are doing. Sayang is an experienced mum and she’s brilliant, she has been protective and attentive, but still relaxed about everything. Nadira is feeding well and going outside to explore.  We’ve begun to introduce dad Ka for short periods of time so he and Nadira can become more familiar with one another. Ka is good natured male and we don’t expect any problems when we eventually bring the family together for longer stretches of time."

Photo Credit: Edinburgh Zoo

“Young Malayan tapirs have very attractive coats, Lorna continues, "but the spots and stripes also serve as excellent camouflage. At this time of year Nadira blends in really well to the autumn leaves. At about four to seven months young tapirs will begin to grow adult coats and develop the black and light grey colouration.”

The Malayan tapir’s long prehensile nose also makes them look very distinctive. They use this in much the same way an elephant would use its trunk to grasp food and pull it apart.

In the wild these elusive rainforest dwelling animals are under threat from natural predators, including leopards and tigers, as well as hunting and wide-scale deforestation due to farming and logging. Due to these pressures Malayan tapirs are marked as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, meaning they face a very high risk of extinction in the wild.