Sunday 23 July 2017

First public outing for young tapir

The baby tapir named Kejutan makes his first public appearance, accompanied by his mother Lidana
The baby tapir named Kejutan makes his first public appearance, accompanied by his mother Lidana

Keepers at a wild animal park have heralded the arrival of an endangered Malayan tapir after he made his first public outing.

Five-week-old Kejutan - meaning "surprise" in Malaysian - is the ninth successful tapir birth at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, Kent.

He was born with distinctive spots and stripes to mother Lidana and father Hunter following a gestation period of around 13 months.

As of 2008, there were only around 1,500 Malayan tapirs and numbers are falling, according to the Tapir Specialist Group.

They are threatened by the destruction of their rainforest habitat, along with over-hunting and capture for the live animal trade.

Bob Savill, head hoofstock keeper at Port Lympne, said: "It is a sad fact that the Malayan tapir is in decline in the wild and there are very few in animal collections.

"When Kejutan grows up, he will hopefully go on to breed and help ensure the continuation of these wonderful animals through our captive breeding programme."

Press Association

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