A rare Malayan Tapir has been born at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo. The male calf was born to mum, Sayang, and dad, Mowgli, late on January 31.
The birth is the latest chapter in the charity’s success story with this endangered species, with the Zoo having welcomed eight Tapir calves since 2007.
Malayan Tapirs are increasingly threatened in the wild by habitat loss and hunting, so the European conservation-breeding programme plays a key role in protecting the species from extinction.
Jonny Appleyard, team leader for hoofstock at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “Malayan Tapir populations in the wild are continuing to decline, so all births are incredibly valuable to the breeding programme and we’re really excited about our latest arrival.”
“At the moment he is staying very close to mum, Sayang, but will soon find his feet and start to follow her outside.”
Baby Tapirs are born with brown and white fur, which helps to provide camouflage in their natural rainforest habitats, and they develop the black-and-white adult colouration after a few months.
The baby Tapir was named with the help of the public. Votes were cast from a shortlist put together by RZSS patrons. Almost 9,000 people voted. With an impressive 4,263 votes, the winning name was…Megat (a name with royal significance in Malaysia).