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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.

Tembikai is expected to make his public debut at Lowry Park Zoo’s special festival, Zoominations. The first of its kind in the Southeastern U.S., Zoominations will provide a dazzling display of custom-made Chinese lantern structures that will illuminate Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, each night from Feb. 28-May 31. Opening at 6 p.m. nightly, guests will discover 30 spectacular scenes representing traditional Chinese dragons and folklore, along with larger-than-life replicas of Zoo animals. Anticipated to be one of the largest lantern festivals held in the U.S., Zoominations will also feature performances by Chinese acrobats and an artisan market with unique handmade crafts. Tickets are on sale online at www.TampaLanternFest.org. Guests can also find Zoominations on Facebook.

Asia malayan tapir tembikai 2 feb 10 2015

Asia malayan tapir tembikai 4 feb 10 2015

Asia malayan tapir tembikai 4 feb 11 2015