The baby Malayan tapir who was born at the Minnesota Zoo in August finally has a name.
The calf, which has white stripes and spots resembling a watermelon, is being called Tuah, the Apple Valley zoo announced Monday after an online vote.
Fans of the zoo were asked to vote for their favorite between Tuah (meaning luck), Zaka (meaning honesty/intelligence), Sabtu (meaning Saturday – he was born on a Saturday) or Teruna (meaning youthful). All the name options have ties to the native area of Malayan tapirs, the zoo said.
Tuah was born Aug. 8 to mom Bertie. He spent the first several weeks of his life behind the scenes at the zoo bonding with his mom and learning how to swim with help from zookeepers, but recently started getting acclimated to his habitat on the Tropics Trail.
In the coming weeks, zoogoers will be able to see Tuah more and more.
Malayan tapirs, which are listed as endangered, are the largest of the four tapir species and the only one that is native to Asia, the zoo says. Wild populations of the animal have been declining due to habitat loss, which is being cleared for human settlement and palm oil plantations, among other things.
The Minnesota Zoo works to support tapir conservation through global symposiums and by participating in the Malayan tapir Species Survival Plan. This plan coordinates breeding to help maintain the tapir gene pool for the future aid of wild populations, the zoo notes.
The baby boy tapir born in August is the eighth tapir to be born at the Minnesota Zoo since 1985, the zoo says, and is Bertie's fourth calf.