Tuesday 17 September 2019

Fota Wildlife Park wants YOU to name its two-month-old Brazilian Tapir calf

Tapir. Photo: Dublin Zoo
Tapir. Photo: Dublin Zoo
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Fota Wildlife Park is in search of a name for its two-month-old Brazilian Tapir calf.

The calf was born last September 13, to mother Maya and father Basil, but he still doesn’t have a name.

He joins his brother Thiago (two and a half years old) and his sister Sofia (16 months).

“This species is also known as the South American Tapir or Lowland Tapir and their numbers have been dwindling in the wild, mostly due to habitat destruction and poaching for meat and hide, so it’s important that we have been so successful at breeding Tapirs here over the years,” Aidan Rafferty, Lead Ranger said.

“The Tapirs’ habitat is currently being redeveloped and we have designed a purpose-built house featuring underfloor heating and its location at the edge of their habitat allows our visitors to look inside.”

He added: “The Tapirs really enjoy the heat so they tend to spend a lot of time indoors during the winter months, and the specifically designed viewing areas will give the public better insight into how the Tapirs live.”

The name Tapir comes from the Brazilian word for ‘thick’, which is a reference to its tough skin.

The Tapir inhabits the rainforests of South America; it lives near water which it uses to escape from predators such as jaguars and pumas and they are capable swimmers and divers. Brazilian Tapirs have splayed toes, four on the front feet and three on the rear feet to help them navigate through muddy ground.

If you wish to suggest a name for the new calf and be in win a chance of winning a Conservation Membership, Fota Wildlife Park are accepting suggestions via their blog - www.fotawildlife.ie/blog

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