Second Generation Tapir Born at Linton Zoo

Brazilian Tapir calf photographed at 36 hours old born at Linton Zoo on 11.04.15 with mum Tiana (8)

On April 11th, ‘Tiana’, a Brazilian Tapir, gave birth to a healthy male calf, at Linton Zoo

Brazilian Tapir calf photographed at 36 hours old born at Linton Zoo on 11.04.15 with mum Tiana (7)

Brazilian Tapir calf photographed at 36 hours old born at Linton Zoo on 11.04.15 with mum Tiana (1)

Brazilian Tapir calf photographed at 36 hours old born at Linton Zoo on 11.04.15 with mum Tiana (5)Photo Credits: Gary Chisholm / Linton Zoo 

Mom, ‘Tiana’, and dad, ‘Thiago’, are both part of a European Breeding Programme aimed at saving them from extinction. The birth of their yet-to-be-named son is extra exciting for keepers, as it represents a second generation of this family at Linton. Tiana was born at the UK zoo in 2010, and Thiago was born at nearby Paradise Wildlife Park, in Hertfordshire. The latest little one is the 14th Tapir calf to be born at Linton Zoo.

The Brazilian Tapir is a large, heavily built mammal of a strange prehistoric appearance.  The Tapir is, in fact, so well adapted to its environment that it has remained unchanged for about 30 million years.  It lives deep in the Brazilian rainforest, and because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting, it is has already become extinct in part of its range.  The Tapir is a shy creature, taking to water when threatened, where it is able to stay submerged for hours, using its long nose to snorkel until such time it feels it is safe to surface. They feed on roots and vegetation but never strip a bush bare of its leaves, zigzagging their way through the undergrowth, conserving the habitat.

The coloring is a dark reddish brown, but offspring are covered in a beautiful pattern of white spots and stripes, which they will retain until about six months of age. This provides a very efficient camouflage in the dappled shade of the forest.

The Brazilian Tapir is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

More amazing pics, below the fold!

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New Tapir Keeps Family Legacy Alive


Dartmoor Zoological Park is incredibly proud of their new Brazilian Tapir! Little ‘Rofilho’ was born, April 6th, to mom ‘Chana’. 




Photo Credits: Dartmoor Zoological Park; Video Credits: Colin Northcott

Rofilho is Chana’s third son. He was named in honor of his father ‘Roger’, who, sadly, passed away a year ago. In Portuguese, ‘filho’ means son, and preceded by ‘Ro’, the new young man’s name means “Roger’s son”.

Tiny Rofilho has been a welcome surprise legacy for the Dartmoor family. The gestation period for a tapir is about 13 months, and it is very hard to tell if a female is pregnant, until the last month or so, when she begins producing milk in preparation.

The South American Tapir, or Brazilian Tapir, is one of five species in the tapir family, along with the Mountain Tapir, Malayan Tapir, Baird’s Tapir, and the Kabomani Tapir. It is the second-largest land mammal in South America, after the Baird’s Tapir.

The tapir is a herbivore. It uses its mobile snout to feed on leaves, buds, shoots, and small branches it tears from trees. Tapirs also enjoy fruit, grasses, and aquatic plants.

The Brazilian Tapir is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Dwindling numbers are due to poaching for meat and their hides. Habitat destruction also plays a role in their endangerment. 

More great pics, below the fold!

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Tapir Birth Caught on Camera!

Fotolink_tapirbabyQ (8)
Romance is a powerful motivator, even for Malayan Tapirs.  Luckily, this love story at Zoo Antwerp resulted in a healthy baby Tapir being born on March 6.  Fotolink_tapirbabyQ (6)

Fotolink_tapirbabyQ (7)
Photo Credit:  Jonas Verhulst


One night 13 months ago, keepers arrived in the morning to find male Tapir Nakal’s stall empty.   He had used his flexible snout to open a door and pay a nocturnal visit to female Tapir Kamal. 

The tiny calf weighed only nine pounds at birth, about 35 times less than its parents.  Kamal and the calf are together 24 hours a day, and the calf appears to be nursing well.  For now, Nakal lives in a separate stall to avoid possible agression with the calf.  The calf is the sixth born at Zoo Antwerp.

You can see the entire birth on the surveillance camera video above.  The calf emerges at about two minutes, and is standing at the four minute mark.

Young Tapirs have white blotches on their bodies, which provide camouflage in the dappled shade of the southeast Asian rain forests where they live.  By the time they are six months old, the calves lose their spots and gain the solid black and white fur of adults.

Malayan Tapirs are the largest of the world’s five Tapir species.  They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, primarily due to loss of habitat. 

See more photos of the Tapir calf below.

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Baby Tapir Arrives in Time for Festival

Asia malayan tapir baby 3 feb 6 2015Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is home to a breeding pair of Malayan Tapirs known as “Albert” and “Ubi.” On January 30th, Ubi gave birth to the couple’s second offspring, a male named “Tembikai.” 

Asia malayan tapir baby 2 feb 6 2015

Asia malayan tapir baby feb 6 2015

Asia malayan tapir tembikai 5 feb 10 2015Photo Credits: Dave Parkinson

With just 35 of these magnificent Malayan mammals in the population managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), every birth is significant. For the baby’s safety and needed bonding time with mother, the newborn remained off exhibit, under the watchful eye of animal care staff, for the first month of his life.

Tapirs are among the most primitive large mammals in the world, dating back 20 million years. There are four species of Tapir native to Southeast Asia and in Central and South America, all of which are classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due to ongoing decline. In their native range, Malayan Tapirs are found in Burma and Thailand within dense forests, usually near water.

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Tapir Calf Makes His Debut

A Tapir calf born on February 27 at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Brno made his media debut at the ripe old age of four days!

10865951_854118047959948_2961697233514094174_oPhoto Credit:  Zoo Brno

Known as Lowland or South American Tapirs, young calves of this species sport white stripes and spots, which offer excellent camouflage in the dappled shade of the forest.  As they grow, calves lose their spots and turn a solid grayish-brown color.

Lowland tapirs rest in the forest during the day, and emerge at night to feed on leaves, bark, and fruits.  They are good swimmers, and will enter rivers to shed skin parasites or escape predators.

Tapirs’ long, flexible snouts are their most unusual feature.  Called a proboscis, this snout is actually made up of the upper lip and nose.  The proboscis can grasp food and strip leaves from trees and small shrubs.

In their native range, which covers large portions of eastern South America, Lowland Tapirs are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Tapirs are hunted for their hides and meat.  Loss of forest habitat also contributes to their decline.   

Tiny Tapir Makes New Year’s Eve Appearance


A tiny new arrival managed to make a big appearance just hours before 2014 drew to a close, at Edinburgh Zoo. A male Malayan Tapir was born to mother, ‘Sayang’, and first time father, ‘Mogli’, in the early hours of December 31st.



Tapir2Photo Credits: Maria Dorrian

Lorna Hughes, Hoofstock Team Leader, said, “The last birth of the year at Edinburgh Zoo, the calf has had a big impact on keepers and visitors already. ‘Mekong’, named after the delta river which flows through where they are found in the wild, is lively and very distinctive.

“Although they are not genetically related and are much larger, Malayan Tapirs are similar in build to pigs, but have noses and upper lips that form a long prehensile snout and large, barrel shaped bodies made for crashing through dense forest vegetation. Adult tapirs are black, with a white or grey midsection, whilst youngsters like Mekong are born with spots and stripes all over their small bodies, face and legs. Mekong’s adult coloration will come in between four and seven months of age. When Mekong is fully grown he is likely to stand at over three feet tall and be up to eight feet in length, weighing up to 900 pounds.”

“Sayang is a great mum with lots of experience as she has had five babies now and really knows the ropes. Tapirs are pregnant for around 13 months so it is great to finally see another healthy calf being born. However, although we are very pleased with his progress and he is putting on weight steadily, the first week or so is a sensitive time for mother and baby.” 

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Lolita the Tapir Explores Her Neighborhood

1_Baby Tapir Lolita at Cotswold Wildlife Park

Cotswold Wildlife Park, in the UK, is celebrating their first Brazilian Tapir birth since 2006! The calf has been named ‘Lolita’ and was born to first-time parents, ‘Gomez’ and ‘Cali’. 

2_Tapir and Capybara by visitor Georgia Hicks aged 11

3_Baby Lolita nose-to-nose with mother Cali

4_Tapir baby walkingPhoto Credits: Georgia Dicks-age 11 (photo 2); Cotswold Wildlife Park (photos 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)

Visitors can see the new calf exploring the enclosure she shares with her parents, alongside the world’s largest rodent species, the Capybara. Both species are native to South America, but Tapirs can also be found in Central America and Malaysia.

Baby Tapirs are striking in appearance and visually differ greatly from the adults. For the first few weeks of their lives, the mother will make sure the vulnerable calf is hidden in thick foliage in the forest while she leaves to browse for food. The young Tapirs coats are covered with stripes and spots, which mimic the speckled sunlight on the forest floor. This enables the calf to brilliantly camouflage itself, in the wild, against predators. When Lolita was first born, visitors were unaware that a newborn Tapir was just feet away from them until keepers pointed the baby out.

Cotswold Wildlife Park has a successful history breeding Tapirs, as part of an Endangered Species Breeding Programme. Tapirs have a gestation period of approximately 13 months, and now that the baby has arrived, the young breeding pair, Gomez and Cali, are proving to be excellent parents. Lolita is growing up to be a confident, independent youngster, as well as a welcome addition to the Mammals section.

Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, said, “We have done incredibly well with this species in the past, but we are delighted to have a first calf from our new pair. The initial introduction between the adults did not go exactly to plan, and it was a relief to us all when they finally settled together.”

These unusual creatures have changed little over tens of millions of years. Fossils of Tapir ancestors have been found on every continent except Antarctica. Tapirs are Brazil’s largest mammal and are related to horses and rhinoceroses. Brazilian Tapirs live in wet forests and grasslands in South America where population numbers are declining due to habitat loss and hunting. They are classified as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Tapirs are a key species in shaping the biological diversity of tropical forests. A recent study of lowland Tapirs revealed 122 different seed species in their dung, making them masters at dispersing seeds and vital components in their ecosystem. 

More amazing pics, below the fold!

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Chester Zoo's Little Tapir Noses In

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!

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.


Denver Zoo's Second Malayan Tapir Birth Goes Smoothly

1 tapir

Denver Zoo is celebrating the birth of an endangered Malayan Tapir calf! The male calf, named Baku (Bah-koo), was born to mother, Rinny, and father, Benny, late in the evening on April 29. He the second offspring of this pair, and only the second birth of his species at the zoo.

Fortunately, his delivery was much easier than the first. The first calf, Dumadi, was born in September 2012. While his birth was normal, the events immediately following were difficult. After Rinny unsuccessfully attempted to free Dumadi from his amniotic sac, two staff members raced in to free the newborn from the sac, providing mouth-to-snout rescue breaths and manually stimulating the newborn for regular breathing in order to expel liquid from his lungs. After a few minutes of rescue efforts, Dumadi successfully began to breathe on his own.

2 tapir

5 tapirPhoto credit: Denver Zoo

Fortunately, Baku's delivery went smoothly, and the newborn calf is healthy. He will remain behind the scenes in Toyota Elephant Passage while being cared for by his mother until they are comfortable enough to venture outdoors. Until then, visitors can see live, closed-circuit video of Baku on monitors inside Toyota Elephant Passage.

'Baku' is the Japanese word for tapir. Baku are also supernatural spirits in Chinese and Japanese folklore that take children’s nightmares away and protect against evil. They are often depicted as having some tapir-like physical characteristics.

Malayan Tapirs are the only tapir native to Asia. Once found throughout Southeast Asia, they now inhabit only the rainforests of the Indochinese peninsula and Sumatra. With a wild population of less than 2,000 individuals they are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat loss and hunting.

See and read more after the fold.

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Palm Beach Zoo Welcomes Baby Baird's Tapir

Tapir by log
An endangered female Baird’s Tapir born on February 17 at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is the Zoo’s first birth of 2014. The calf was named Luna in a naming contest at nearby Palmetto Elementary School. 

Tapir eats out of Keeper April Winters hand
Keeper April Winters with tapirs
Photo Credit:  Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

Jan Steele, General Curator for the Zoo, said from its birth, the calf has been in good health, and has been gaining weight at a steady rate. “At first, we monitored the calf, but gave Alyssa space to strengthen her bond with her baby,” explained Steele. “Because Alyssa rejected her first calf, we wanted to make sure she allowed this second one to nurse.” 

Zoo keepers had been studying methods to increase the likelihood that Alyssa would accept this calf, and had given her “scratch-downs” which calmed her and allowed multiple ultrasounds that showed the calf’s progress before it was born.

The calf’s weight was 40.5 pounds on March 7, when she was seventeen days old. Zoo keepers said the calf is on target to double in weight within her first three to four weeks of life, as Tapirs are expected to do.

See more photos and videos, and learn more about Tapirs below the fold.

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