Franklin Park Zoo’s new Baird’s Tapir made her exhibit debut last week, and now the sweet calf needs a name!
Zoo New England is running a naming contest via CrowdRise, with donations supporting Global Wildlife Conservation’s Nicaragua Tapir Project. With a $5 minimum donation, members of the public can vote for their favorite name for the calf, now through January 31. Follow this link to vote: https://www.crowdrise.com/babytapir
The female calf was born on January 1 to 28-year-old dad, Milton, and 13-year-old mom, Abby. This is the fourth offspring for both parents.
ZooBorns featured news of the birth in a January 8 post: “New Year, New Tapir at Franklin Park Zoo”.
Zoo New England participates in the Baird’s Tapir Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild. Because the AZA managed Tapir population is so small – 29 males and 20 females (including the new calf) – every successful birth and survival helps to secure the captive population. The new female calf at Franklin Park Zoo helps to balance out this small, but male skewed population.
Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii), also known as the Central American Tapir, is a species of native to Mexico, Central America and northwestern South America.
They are the largest land mammal found in South America and are classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN Red List. While they are hunted for food and sport, their greatest threat to survival is habitat destruction due to logging and clearing of land for agriculture and development. In addition to humans, jaguars are the only other significant threat to this animals’ survival in the wild.
The Baird’s Tapirs, at Franklin Park Zoo, make their home in the ‘Tropical Forest’ exhibit.