This past February, Howletts Wild Animal Park in the United Kingdom received the latest member of its family, a healthy male baby Brazilian Tapir. The little boy, who has been named Inca, spent the first few months of his life indoors and off exhibit due to the cold weather. He spent his time inside with the warmth of shelter, and the comfort of his mother.
To help make sure that his indoor enclosure stayed warm enough, a local plastic and insulation company, PAR Group, donated a special plastic door curtain to help with insulation. "Our latest baby Tapir has been born during the really cold weather, but thanks to the generosity of the PAR Group they are snug and warm inside their shelter with the plastic door strips on the entrance," said Animal Director Neil Spooner.
Photo Credits: Dave Rolfe / Howletts Wild Animal Park
Now that the weather has begun to warm up, Inca has begun to explore his exhibit for visitors to see. "The little fella is doing really well and mum is keeping a close eye on him. Now that the weather is showing some signs of becoming milder, visitors should be able to spot them more easily, as they explore their paddock," explained Joel Bunce, the head of animal park's hoofstock section.
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Brazilian Tapirs, native to Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela and Paraguay, are forest dwellers who spend their time living in the rainforest and swamps of their native range. After a thirteen month gestation, young are born with a variety of stripes and spots, as you can see on Inca. These help camouflage them in the forest to hide them from potential predators. This coloration will fade after approximately six months, and Inca will begin to grow a distinctive mane all the way down his neck.
Howletts Wild Animal Park is run by the Aspinall Foundation which is a leader in conservation efforts around the world. Specifically, they manage conservation projects in Congo, Gabon, Indonesia and Madagascar. They also support countless other projects around the world through financial assistance. The foundation and its two Wild Animal Parks, Howletts and Port Lympne, are some of the most successful breeders of endangered species in the world.