Tapir

Help Minnesota Zoo Name Their Baby Tapir

 

With its white stripes and spots, unmistakable nose, and affinity to play in the water, there's not much is cuter than a baby tapir.

The  @Minnesota Zoo  is excited to announce a baby Malayan tapir will be making his debut over the coming days in the Zoo’s tapir habitat along the Tropics Trail. The tapir was born at the Zoo on August 8 and has been spending his first month of life bonding behind the scenes with his mother, Bertie. He has been receiving additional care, including help learning how to swim, from our team of zookeepers and animal health experts. The baby male tapir still needs a name – and you can help! Vote on your favorite name at this link: https://mnzoo.org/tapir/ All of these names have connections to the native area of Malayan tapirs.

Voting will close on Sunday, October 4, and the Zoo will announce the winning name on social media on Monday, October 5. In addition to encouraging you to vote for your favorite name directly at MNZoo, ZooBorns is asking fans to tell us your favorite name in the comments below. We'll submit the single most popular name to Minnesota Zoo on fans' behalf. As the baby tapir continues to acclimate to his habitat, he will be visible more and more in the coming days and weeks. Be sure to stop by the tapir habitat along the Tropics Trail to see if he’s out exploring.


Baird’s tapir twins make history at Franklin Park Zoo

 

On September 29, the day that Franklin Park Zoo’s animal care staff had been so eagerly awaiting finally arrived: Abby, a Baird’s tapir, gave birth to two beautiful calves, a male and a female.

While twins are an incredibly rare occurrence in all tapir species, this pair of “tapir tots,” as they are affectionately referred to by staff, is believed to be a first for Baird’s tapirs as we can find no record of this occurring previously in zoos or in the wild.

The animal care and veterinary team are thrilled that the two calves were safely delivered, after a long and arduous day that showcased incredible teamwork and commitment to care. When Abby’s water broke at 9:30 a.m. but contractions did not follow, it became clear that veterinary staff would need to intervene. After several hours of efforts to stimulate contractions, the decision was made to anesthetize Abby so that the zoo’s veterinary team could assist in delivering the calves. The anesthesia was challenging, but once it took effect, the twins were delivered manually. The male came first, then the female followed shortly after, accompanied by a scare when a heartbeat was not readily detected. Thankfully, she recovered quickly with resuscitation and both calves were soon up, alert, and taking their tiny first steps. Abby also recovered very well from the procedure.

Throughout Abby’s 13-month gestation, the veterinary and animal care teams conducted regular transabdominal ultrasounds to monitor the twins’ development. Our veterinary staff felt very well prepared throughout this unique pregnancy, thanks in large part to transdisciplinary collaboration and consultation between physicians and veterinarians from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

“Tuesday was one of the most challenging and rewarding days of my veterinary career,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Vice President of Animal Care and Conservation. “We planned extensively for different scenarios with the twins, and are overjoyed that both twins were delivered safely and that Abby is doing well. While we are cautiously optimistic, the first few days are critical for these twins and we are monitoring them around the clock. Our veterinary and animal care teams are doing everything we can to ensure the best chances for their survival.”

The twins had their first check-up yesterday and weigh just under 10 pounds each, which is approximately half the weight of a newborn tapir singleton. At this time the twins are separated from their mom Abby, as we want to make sure they are feeding well, are strong and have good glucose stores before they are reintroduced. Abby has visual access to her twins, and the plan is to reunite them very soon. The care team is staying around the clock as the twins require a bottle feeding every two hours. Right now, they are consuming 15-20% of their body weight daily, which is continually adjusted based on weight gain or loss.

This 24-hour monitoring is nothing new to the dedicated team. Because Abby’s pregnancy was considered high risk and there was a chance that the calves would be premature, staff monitored the cameras night and day throughout the past month in case she went into labor early.

Mom and babies will spend some time bonding behind the scenes before making their exhibit debut in the Tropical Forest. Those interested in visiting should follow along on the Zoo’s website and social media pages for the most up to date information on the #TapirTotTwins.

ZNE 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. Abby has previously given birth to four healthy calves, each of whom resides at other AZA accredited institutions per breeding recommendations by the SSP. This pregnancy is the result of a recommended breeding between Abby and her late mate Milton. When Milton passed away at age 30 last year, he was the oldest Baird’s tapir within the AZA managed population.

An endangered species, Baird’s tapirs are the largest land mammal found in South America. Baird’s tapir calves are noted for their furry coat covered in spots and stripes, which helps to camouflage them in the dappled light of the forest. The spots and stripes fade at about six months as their coat darkens.

Zoo New England is committed to Baird’s tapir conservation and partners with the Baird’s Tapir Survival Alliance to protect Baird’s tapirs in Central America. While these animals 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 animal’s survival in the wild.


Chester Zoo Announces New Malayan Tapir Calf

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A rare Malayan Tapir was born at Chester Zoo on July 18. The calf, which has been revealed as a boy, arrived to proud mum, Margery (age 7) and dad, Betong (age 6).

Weighing just 5kg at birth, the ‘precious’ youngster follows a 13-month-long (391-day) pregnancy.

Baby tapirs have distinctive coats when first born, made up of a series of spots and stripes to help camouflage them on the forest floors in their native South East Asia. This pattern will slowly change over the first six months to the unique black and white pattern of their parents.

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4_Chester Zoo gives a first glimpse of its super-cute new baby tapir  (65)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Around half of the world’s Malayan Tapirs have been lost in the last 40 years, with fewer than 2,500 estimated to remain in across Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand and Myanmar. Hunting, illegal logging, and mass deforestation as land is cleared for unsustainable palm oil production are reasons for the decline in numbers. The species is currently listed as “Endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Species.

Sarah Roffe, Team Manager, said, “It’s wonderful to hear the pitter-patter of tiny, spotty Malayan Tapir feet again for only the second time ever in the zoo’s long history.”

“Mum Margery is ever so good with the baby. She’s very attentive but also gives him chance to explore and find his feet.”

“The precious calf is another big boost for the international breeding programme, which is working to ensure the already endangered species do not become extinct. In the wild, the Malayan Tapir population has crashed in recent times, largely due to the widespread conversion of their forest habitat to palm oil plantations. If people want to help this wonderful species, then we’d urge them to demand that the palm oil contained in the products they use is from sustainable sources.”

The Malayan Tapir is related to both the horse and the rhinoceros. It is an‘odd-toed’ ungulate (or hoofed mammal), with four toes on each front foot and three on each back foot.

To celebrate the youngster's arrival, keepers at the zoo asked the public to help them to give him a name. The results of the online poll were recently revealed, and the calf's new name is...Rony!

Continue reading "Chester Zoo Announces New Malayan Tapir Calf" »


Edinburgh Zoo Welcomes Malayan Tapir Calf

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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.

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4_Tapir_calf_JP_4Photo Credit: RZSS/Jon Paul Orsi

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).

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Nashville Zoo Celebrates Fourth Tapir Birth

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Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a male Baird’s Tapir. The yet-to-be-named calf arrived on March 7 and weighed-in at 22.8 pounds. 

This is the second calf for four-year-old mom, Juju. The calf’s father, Romeo, passed-away last year. Romeo was also the father of Tybalt, the Nashville Zoo’s other male Tapir, who was born in August 2016.

With the addition of the new calf, the Zoo is now home to three Baird’s Tapirs. A total of four Baird’s Tapirs have been born at Nashville Zoo since the species was introduced there in 2008.

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3_39817096715_20ed153cdd_oPhoto Credits: Stephanie Edling / Nashville Zoo

Tapirs have a gestation period of approximately 13 months. Keepers had been closely monitoring Juju’s progress and noticed she was restless the day before she gave birth. Once Juju went into labor, she welcomed her new calf about five minutes later, without the help of keepers.

“Congratulations to the keepers who worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth birth for Juju,” said Jonathon Hankins, Area Supervisor for Hoofstock. “They know these animals down to the tiniest details, and it is this dedication that will help us make the future for this little guy as bright as possible.”

Keepers estimate the calf will go out on exhibit within a few weeks, once the mother deems the calf is fit to explore outside. Tapirs are also sensitive to colder temperatures, so they will not go outside unless the temperature is above 60 degrees F.

This birth is significant because this species is currently listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Baird’s Tapirs are threatened by hunting, population fragmentation and habitat destruction.

Baird's Tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) are broad, primitive creatures whose appearance has changed little in thousands of years. A relative of the horse and the rhino, Tapirs are the largest land animal in Central and South America.

Though an adult Baird’s Tapir’s coat is solid brown, babies are born with unique markings, similar to brown and white-striped watermelons. Juvenile tapirs lose these markings after one year.


Minnesota Zoo Announces Malayan Tapir Birth

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The Minnesota Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of an endangered Malayan Tapir calf. The little female, named Indah, was born on January 6 after an approximately 400-day gestation period and weighed-in at 16 pounds.

According to keepers, the new calf and mom, Bertie, are doing well. This is the Minnesota Zoo’s third tapir birth in 6 years. The new calf is also one of only 37 tapirs that are currently housed in zoos across North American.

The little one is bonding with mom behind the scenes. Until she goes into the public tapir habitat along the zoo’s Tropics Trail, she can be seen via the Minnesota Zoo’s social media channels and a special webcam.

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4_MN Zoo Tapir Calf Check-UpPhoto Credits: Minnesota Zoo

The Malayan Tapir's gestation period varies from 390-419 days. Mothers usually give birth every 2-4 years to a single calf, and twins are rare. At birth, a calf weighs approximately 10-20 pounds. For the first 6-8 months of their life, tapir calves resemble furry watermelons with legs. They are dark brown to black with alternating bands of yellowish-white stripes and spots. Young tapirs grow quickly and can weigh as much as 450 pounds at one year of age; they reach adult size in 2-3 years.

“We are very excited to welcome this new tapir to the Minnesota Zoo. Malayan Tapirs are endangered and this birth is a significant conservation achievement, as it’s estimated that fewer than 1,500 exist in the wild. The recent success we’ve had with tapir births over the past six years is an example of the incredible care our zookeeper and veterinary teams provides our animals,” said Tropics Trail curator, Tom Ness.

Malayan Tapirs (Tapirus indicus) are one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia. Their population is declining due to road mortality, habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural purposes (palm oil), flooding caused by dam building for hydroelectric projects, and illegal trade. The public can help wild tapirs by shopping smart for sustainable palm oil.

In human care, Malayan Tapirs are managed for breeding purposes by a Species Survival Plan (SSP), which, through the coordinated efforts of several zoos throughout North America, helps maintain a backup gene pool for the future aid of the wild population. The Minnesota Zoo currently participates in many SSP programs, including the one for the Malayan Tapir.


Sarah the Tapir Debuts at Wrocław Zoo

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On January 31, a female South American Tapir calf was born at Poland’s Wrocław Zoo. The baby, named Sarah, will be part of zoo breeding programs designed to save this Vulnerable species.

Sarah weighed about 13 pounds and had a body length of about 18 inches at birth. Her brown fur is covered in white stripes and blotches. In the South American forests where wild Tapirs live, these spots would offer camouflage in the sun-dappled woodlands.

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IMAG0094Photo Credit: Wrocław Zoo

Sarah’s mother, 23-year-old Sonia, was also born at the Wrocław Zoo. Her father is 22-year-old Tapinos.

Though Tapirs usually live alone in the wild, the three Tapirs at Wrocław Zoo have formed a family group, with both adults caring for the calf. Sarah spends most of her time nursing or sleeping. While exploring or running, Sarah is still uncoordinated and might take a tumble. When this happens, Sonia is always at her baby’s side and checks to see if she is alright. If a stranger approaches, Sonia shields her baby with her body.

Sarah will eventually leave Wrocław Zoo for another facility, where she will be paired with a genetically-compatible mate. The goal of zoo breeding programs is to develop sustainable populations with high genetic diversity.  

South American Tapirs are one of five species of Tapirs living today. The others are the Mountain Tapir, Malayan Tapir, Baird’s Tapir, and Kabomani Tapir. They have short prehensile snouts, which aid in grabbing tender foliage to eat.

Poaching and habitat loss have caused Tapir numbers to decrease dramatically in recent years.

See more photos of Sarah below.

Continue reading "Sarah the Tapir Debuts at Wrocław Zoo" »


Franklin Park Zoo's 'Baby New Year' Needs a Name

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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”.

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4_Tapir Jan 2018 (9)Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo / Zoo New England

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.

Continue reading "Franklin Park Zoo's 'Baby New Year' Needs a Name" »


New Year, New Tapir at Franklin Park Zoo

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New Year’s Day was extra special at Franklin Park Zoo… a Baird’s Tapir, named Abby, gave birth to a female calf.

The 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.

The soon-to-be-named calf recently had her first vet examination. The exam included blood work and a general physical. The calf weighed-in at 20.5 pounds and appears to be in good health.

“Abby is an experienced mother, and she is being very attentive to her new baby, who is strong and has been nursing well. As with any new birth, we are carefully monitoring the health of the new calf and the mother,” said Dr. Alex Becket, Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian in the department of Animal Health.

The baby’s arrival was long awaited by the Animal Care staff, as the gestation period for Baird’s Tapirs is thirteen months. Similar to a deer fawn, Baird’s Tapir calves are distinctly marked with watermelon like white stripes and spots, which help to camouflage them in the dappled light of the rainforest. The stripes begin to fade between five and six months of age.

“We are thrilled to share this wonderful news,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “Given the small size of the North American captive population, this is a very important birth for this endangered species. Zoo New England is committed to Tapir conservation and has supported important field work being done on behalf of Baird’s Tapirs in Nicaragua.”

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4_IMG_9874Photo Credits: Zoo New England/Sarah Woodruff

ZNE 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. The new baby is expected to make her public debut within a few weeks.


Meet Zoo de Beauval’s Handsome New Tapir

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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.

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4_22769813_1781610285197243_4033519976349854851_oPhoto Credits: Zoo de Beauval

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.