Baby tapir takes first steps at Edinburgh Zoo (photos)

The tapir is on the endgangered species list, so this is a very special moment...

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              Edinburgh Zoo's baby tapir takes his first steps

The evening of Thursday 19 May was very special at Edinburgh Zoo - because this adorable baby tapir calf was born.

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The tiny calf, born to mother Sayang and father Mowgli, weighed just 11kg at birth - but he is likely to double in size over the next couple of weeks.

Adorable baby tapir takes its first steps at Edinburgh Zoo

Malayan tapir calves are born with brown fur covered in white stripes and spots in order to give them camouflage in the forest during their early lives.

Within a few months they start to lose their distinctive markings.

Adorable baby tapir takes its first steps at Edinburgh Zoo


Karen Stiven, Hoofstock Keeper at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, says: "The tiny calf is doing very well and, whilst he is staying close to his mother, he has been rambling around a bit on his small shaky legs to explore his surroundings."

"On Monday afternoon he took his first tentative steps into the outdoor paddock and was even brave enough to take a few splashes in the pond."


Adorable baby tapir takes its first steps at Edinburgh Zoo

Karen adds that this addition to the family at Edinburgh Zoo as it will play important role in conservation of the endangered species in the future and when old enough will join the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme.

The tapir species is increasingly threatened with population numbers continuing to decline as a result of habitat loss as well as increasing hunting pressure.

Adorable baby tapir takes its first steps at Edinburgh Zoo

The population has been estimated to have declined by more than 50% in the last three generations as a result of tapir habitats being converted into palm oil plantations.

You can keep up to date with everything going on at Edinburgh Zoo and with the tapirs online here.

Baby zoo animals around the world

Baby zoo animals around the world