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.