Zoo de Beauval is pleased to announce the birth of a male Brazilian Tapir. The handsome three-week-old has been named Diego.
Attentive mother, Chiquita, has been protectively caring for her sweet, striped son. The new family, including dad Farrusco, is at home in the Zoo’s South American exhibit.
The South American or Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is one of five species in the Tapir family, including: the Mountain Tapir, the Malayan Tapir, the Baird's Tapir, and the Kabomani Tapir.
They are excellent swimmers and divers, but they can also move quickly on land and rugged, mountainous terrain. They have a life span of approximately 25 to 30 years. When frightened, they are known to run toward water to take cover.
Brazilian Tapirs are herbivores. Using their nose, they can feed on leaves, buds, shoots, and small branches torn from trees, fruit, grasses, and aquatic plants.
They generally mate in late Spring through early Summer. Females go through a gestation period of 13 months (390–395 days) and will typically have one offspring every two years. Newborns weigh about 15 pounds and are weaned at about six months of age.
The Brazilian Tapir is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Dwindling numbers are due to poaching for meat and hide, as well as habitat destruction. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service designated the species as “Endangered” on June 2, 1970.