An endangered Malayan tapir has been born at a UK zoo in what the zoo has called an “important moment” for conservation.
The female, whom zookeepers have named Nessa, was born Wednesday weighing 9kg at Chester Zoo, one of only two places in the country that breeds tapirs, a species related to horses and rhinos.
Nessa has a distinctive spotted and striped coat, a pattern that would help camouflage her on the forest floor, but this will slowly change over the next six months to match the black and white pattern of her mother, Margery.
Rosie Owen, zookeeper at Chester Zoo, said Nessa was “a real bundle of energy, confident and always looking to explore”.
She said: ‘It’s so lovely to hear the crackle of tiny spotted and striped Malayan tapir feet again. They are truly special animals, a highly endangered species and very few zoos in the whole of Britain deal with them, so it’s fair to say that Nessa’s arrival has put huge smiles on all of our faces.
Hunting, illegal logging and massive deforestation have reduced the world’s Malay tapir population by more than half, and it is estimated that fewer than 2,500 remain in Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand and Thailand. Myanmar.
Mike Jordan, Director of Animals and Plants at Chester Zoo, said: “Margery’s precious calf is a very important new arrival which will add valuable new genetics to Europe’s endangered species breeding programme, which will continue to grow. strives to provide a safety net population of Malay tapirs in conservation zoos like ours, protecting them from extinction.
Last month, Chester Zoo was praised by Leonardo DiCaprio for helping to bring a “rare fish species back from the dead”. The Hollywood star posted on Instagram how the golden skiffia was released into a Mexican river, after a successful breeding program the zoo participated in.