Endangered calf is first tapir born at Zoo in more than 20 years
Media Invitation: Thursday, August 15, 2013
8:45 a.m. – media arrival/meet at Guest Services desk
9:00 a.m. – tapir calf goes on exhibit (on exhibit until 11 a.m.)
Apple Valley, MINN – August 15, 2013 – The Minnesota Zoo is excited to announce that its long-awaited Malayan tapir (pronounced tay-purr) calf, the first born at the Zoo in more than 20 years, will make her public debut on Thursday, August 15 at 9 a.m. The new tapir, who is not yet named, was born at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, 2013. Along with her mother, “Bertie,” she has been busy resting, bonding and playing off-exhibit while nearly doubling her size in weight! Viewers have been able to watch her and her mom via a special webcam at: http://www.mnzoo.org/animals/animals_liveCam_tapir.asp.
A naming contest for the calf will be announced soon. Malayan tapirs usually have a gestation period from 390-410 days; the Minnesota Zoo’s calf was born after 419 days. Mothers usually give birth to a single calf every 2-4 years. 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 and reach adult size in about 2-3 years. One of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia, Malayan tapir populations are declining due to habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural palm oil plantations. Palm oil is used in many food products, cosmetics, and bath products. You can help save tropical forests that are home to tapirs and other wildlife by purchasing products that use sustainable palm oil. Learn more and pick up a shopping guide by visiting http://www.mnzoo.org/DoOneThing/shopping.asp
In human care, the Malayan tapir is managed for breeding purposes by a Species Survival Plan® (SSP), which, through the coordinated efforts of several zoos throughout the United States, helps maintain the gene pool for the future aid of the wild population. The Minnesota Zoo currently participates in 60 SSP programs, including that of the Malayan tapir. The Zoo had four prior Malayan tapir births, the last one occurring in 1991. The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).