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Sunday 22 April 2018

Come and have a nosey as this tiny tapir needs a name

Dublin Zoo is running a competition to name its latest addition, a male tapir calf, based on its Brazilian origin. Patrick Bolger
Dublin Zoo is running a competition to name its latest addition, a male tapir calf, based on its Brazilian origin. Patrick Bolger

Hannah Popham

VISITORS to Dublin Zoo are being invited to name the latest addition to the growing family – a Brazilian tapir calf.

The calf is the second baby born to parents Rio and Marmaduke and head zookeeper, Eddie O'Brien, said that he was "even more adventurous and boisterous than his older brother at the same age".

His brother MJ (Marmaduke Junior) was born in June 2012 and was the first calf of the couple, after Marmaduke's long-term female partner Hillary died.

The birth has inspired the opportunity for visitors to the zoo to name the calf, based on his Brazilian origin, using the zoo's Facebook page.

It follows the success of similar competitions to name its recent additions of baby giraffe 'Tamu', rhino 'Sarge' and gorilla 'Kituba'.

Mr O'Brien said that the young calf "has been lying in the shade as the recent heat has been a bit much for him", and also pointed out that Brazilian tapirs remain officially defined as an endangered species.

"Their numbers in the wild have declined due to deforestation," he said.

"However, zoos are currently stabilising numbers, which is great."

The calf's father, Marmaduke, has now successfully fathered 18 calves which are currently living in zoos across Europe.

Irish Independent

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