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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.

 

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