On Friday, October 19th the Twycross Zoo welcomed a female Brazilian Tapir calf to Muffin (mom) and Pele (dad). The healthy calf has been suckling well and exhibiting bursts of exuberance, romping around her enclosure and then retreating to the indoor area for a snooze.
Tapirs give birth to a single youngster after a gestation period of about 13 months. The baby has a striped and spotted coat which she will lose as she grows older. Brazilian Tapirs are found in lowland regions of northern and central South America and listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist. This young female Tapir born only a week ago at Twycross Zoo will play a very important role in the European Breeding Programme of this species.
A newborn Malayan Tapir calf is alive and doing well thanks to the heroic efforts of two Denver Zoo staff members. On September 3, Denver Zoo's female Tapir, Rinny, gave birth inside the Rhino/Tapir building of Toyota Elephant Passage. Staff watched as Rinny unsuccessfully attempted to free the infant from inside its amniotic sac. Assistant Curator of Toyota Elephant Passage Rebecca McCloskey safely separated mother and calf then freed the newborn from the sac for inspection. Together with staff veterinarian Gwen Jankowski, they began providing mouth to snout rescue breaths and manually stimulated the baby for regular breathing and in order to expel liquid from his lungs. After a few minutes of rescue efforts, the infant successfully began to breathe on his own. The scene was captured on video tape inside the zoo's Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit.
"It's always a little scary when something like this happens, but thankfully we all have great resources and training," says McCloskey. "It was such a relief to see him finally take those first breaths."
Photo credits: Denver Zoo
Thanks to the zoo staffers' efforts, the young infant named Dumadi is now walking and swimming just fine. The Tapir is currently doing well with his mother behind the scenes. This is the first birth of his species at the zoo and the first birth of any species in Toyota Elephant Passage.
Dumadi, named for the Indonesian word meaning "becoming," is the first birth for both Rinny and his father, Benny. Benny was born at the City of Belfast Zoo in Ireland in 2006 and arrived at Denver Zoo from Toronto Zoo in 2007. Rinny was born at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo in 2007 and came to Denver Zoo from there in 2010. The two were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match.
See the rescue and the baby's first swim below!
As adults, Malayan Tapirs have a distinctive color pattern that some people say resembles an Oreo cookie, with black front and back parts separated by a white or gray midsection. This provides excellent camouflage that breaks up the Tapir's outline in the shadows of the forest. By contrast, young Tapirs have color patterns that more resemble brown watermelons with spots and stripes which help them blend into the dappled sunlight and leaf shadows of the forest and protect them from predators.
Though they are most closely related to horses and rhinos, Tapirs are similar in build to pigs, but significantly larger. Malayan Tapirs have a large, barrel shaped body ideal for crashing through dense forest vegetation. Their noses and upper lips are extended to form a long prehensile snout similar to a stubby version of an elephant's trunk. Malayan Tapirs are the largest of the four Tapir species. They stand more than 3-feet-tall and can stretch from between 6 to 8-feet-long. They can also weigh more than 1,100 pounds. They are also excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in water. They can even use their flexible noses as snorkels!
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 (IUCN) due to habitat loss and hunting.
Only 15 months ago, Zoo Tel Aviv's 7-year-old Tapir mother gave birth to her first calf. Now the zoo is celebrating the arrival of its first male ever male calf. The spotted bundle of joy weighs only 11 pounds and has already begun to explore his exhibit. Now experienced mother Passiflora has demonstrated outstanding mothering skills, but to ensure that her baby gets enough milk, keepers coax her to lie on her side with belly rubs. Father Tapiro is spending these first days separated from mom and her calf to allow them a stress free bonding period.
Brazilian Tapirs are considered "vulnerable" to extinction. Zoo Tel Aviv and its Tapir pair are playing a part in Tapir conservation through the EEP (European Endangered Species Program).
The big news at The Czech Republic's Zoo Brno is the arrival of a new born Brazilian Tapir. The calf's parents are named Cusco and Neny, and Zoo Brno has asked its fans what the baby's name should be. What do you think she should be named?
Native to the lowland regions of northern and central South America, Brazilian Tapirs eat fruits, leaves, stems, sprouts, small branches, grasses, aquatic plants, tree bark, aquatic organisms, and cane, melon, cocoa, rice, and corn from plantations. They are considered vulnerable to extinction because of habitat destruction.
On the morning of August 24th, a baby Malayan Tapir named Betong was born at The Netherlands' Artis Zoo. Within an hour of his arrival, Betong was successfully nursing and standing firm on his four feet. That following Tuesday, the spotted male Tapir baby was out on exhibit for the first time. The endangered Malayan Tapir is threatened mainly by human activity such as deforestation for agriculture. Artis Zoo participates in European breeding program aimed at developing a viable breeding population of Malayan Tapirs. In addition to breeding this rare and unusual species, Artis conducts extensive research into the development cycle of Tapirs in the womb.
Dublin Zoo has a new arrival! Born early on Tuesday, June 5, this tiny male Tapir calf is off to a terrific start. This is mother Rio and father Marmaduke's first calf together.
Team leader Eddie O’Brien, said, “We are delighted with the birth of the tapir calf. Mum and calf are doing very well and we are really happy with how well Rio is doing as a first time mum. The calf was up and about quickly after he was born, he is really inquisitive!”
Photo credits: Patrick Bolger Photography
Tapir calves are born with a number of white spots and stripes which act as camouflage in the wild. The spots and stripes mimic the dappled sunlight on the forest floor but these markings will disappear by adulthood. Although this is Rio’s first calf, Marmaduke has successfully fathered 17 tapir calves to date.
Learn more about Tapirs after the jump and see many more outstanding images of Ireland's newest little watermelon!
A newborn South American Tapir lies next to her mother at the Debrecen Zoo in Debrecen, Hungary. The baby, a female, was born on April 15 after a 13-month gestation. She weighed a little over 13 pounds (6000 grams). Her parents, Sam and Luna, came to the zoo in March 2011 as part of a species conservation program. The baby will be raised together with her parents for almost a year.
Tapirs are endangered; their numbers have declined in the wild mainly due to a shrinking habitat and poaching for both their hide and meat.
Belfast Zoo’s recent baby boom has continued with the birth of Marjorie, the Malayan Tapir. Marjorie was born on March 4 to parents Gladys and Elmer.
Zoo Curator Andrew Hope said, “Malayan tapirs are a beautiful but slightly unusual looking species. They are related to horses and rhinoceroses. The adults have a distinctive coat pattern and are black on the front and white on the back. However, when the calves are born they have beige spotted and striped markings, which make them look incredibly like ‘watermelons on legs’. Marjorie will begin to lose her markings after a few months. When she is six months old, she will look like a miniature adult!”
Malayan tapirs are the only tapir from Asia and are found in Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Malaysia and Thailand. This incredible species faces a high risk of extinction, with studies estimating that the population could decline by up to 50% over the next 30 years.The main reasons for their decline are the destruction of their forest habitats and they are also hunted for meat and sport.
A male Brazilian Tapir has been born at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. The new arrival, named Dexter, was born on Sunday, February 5th. His parents are Misha and Ryan. Paignton Zoo has enjoyed regular successes with Tapirs, breeding seven young over the last 11 years.
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park Director of Operations and Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment said: “There are few zoo youngsters as endearing as a baby Tapir. It is always good news to breed such a popular and charismatic species.”
Photo credit: Paignton Zoo
Brazilian or lowland tapirs are threatened due to habitat destruction and hunting for food. The population in European zoos is managed co-operatively.
Tapirs live in wet forest and grassland, where they eat grasses, leaves, buds, fruits and aquatic vegetation. The tapir's short, fleshy, trunk-like nose helps the animal to sniff its way through the forest and is a sensitive finger used to pluck leaves and shoots. This prehensile snout also makes a great snorkel when the tapirs are bathing. They love water and are excellent swimmers.
A single youngster is born after a gestation period of about 13 months. Baby tapirs have striped and spotted coats for camouflage but they lose their patterns as they grow older.
Hoof stock keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in the UK are delighted to announce the birth of an extremely rare Malayan tapir. The young male, named Manado, was born on January 12 to mother Malacca and father Hunter. This new arrival is the tenth successful tapir birth there, the first occurring in 1989. Now Port Lympne’s tapir house is home to two young male tapirs, as little Kejutan, born 4 months ago to mother Lidaeng, is growing fast.
Head Hoof Stock Keeper Bob Savill is overjoyed, saying, “This is Malacca’s first calf and mother and baby are both doing well. This birth is fantastic news not only for the future of tapirs but for our hoof stock keepers too – it is very special that we have two babies in the same house, at the same time.”
Malayan tapirs are born after a gestation period of approximately 13 months and are black in color with white spots and stripes. As they reach maturity the distinctive black and white coloring comes through, this coloring is supposed to give excellent coverage in moonlit forests. Tapirs are most active at night.
Malayan tapirs are endangered in the wild due to the destruction of their rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations and from increased hunting. You can help protect endangered species like Malayan tapirs by visiting The Aspinall Foundation’s Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks or adopting a tapir. For more information please go to www.aspinallfoundation.org.