The Minnesota Zoo is welcoming a new tapir calf – the second to be born at the zoo in 22 years.
The yet-to-be-named male Malayan tapir was born July 30 at 5 a.m. after a 13-month gestation period. Both baby and mom Bertie are doing well, the Minnesota Zoo announced Monday,
Malayan tapirs are one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia, the zoo notes, and this calf is only the 37th tapir to be born in North America.
“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," Tropics Trail Supervisor Tom Ness said in the announcement. "This is an example of the great care the zoo’s animal care teams provide our animals.”
Currently the little tapir – described as a furry watermelon with legs due to his coloring – is bonding with his mom behind the scenes at the zoo, but those curious about the young animal can see him on a webcam until he goes on exhibit, the zoo says. (Note: the webcam only works with Internet Explorer.)
Young tapirs grow quickly, the zoo says. This little calf was born weighing 19 pounds, and is already up to 25 pounds, with many calves weighing as much as 450 pounds by the time they're a year old.