Baby Lemur Gets a Bath
Little Trotters Keeping Warm

Tiny Tapir ‘Perfection’ Spotted at Edinburgh Zoo

A new addition to Edinburgh Zoo has been officially announced today (Thursday 27 May). Born just over a month ago on 23 April 2010, the male baby Malayan tapir called Kamal, whose name means ‘perfection’, can now be seen exploring his enclosure under the watchful eye of his mum Sayang.




Photo Credits: RZSS

Not only distinguishable from his parents by his size, tapir youngsters look very different to their older relatives. Unlike his parents who have a black coat with a large, wide, white band, the baby tapir is covered in white stripes and spots which remain until they develop their adult coat at six months old. With long flexible noses that they use to forage for food, tapirs are unusual looking animals and surprisingly, they are closely related to the rhino. The Malayan tapir is classed by conservation experts as endangered with wild populations expected to decline by more that 50% in the next 36 years.

Karen Stiven, Senior Hoofstock Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo said:

“Tapir pairings are notoriously difficult to get right and many zoos struggle with breeding. We believe our two genuinely care for each other and that is why we are lucky enough to have a third baby arrive from this pair.

These new arrivals play a vital role in the worldwide breeding programme for this endangered species. Zoos provide the last insurance policy against extinction and for staff working with these animals, you actually feel you are helping create a happy and healthy breeding environment which can make all the difference.”

Found in the forests of Malaysia, Thailand, Burma and Sumatra, Malayan tapirs are endangered due habitat loss and hunting. There are also prey for large carnivores such as tigers and leopards.