APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - An endangered Malayan tapir calf was born Saturday at the Minnesota Zoo, the third tapir to be born there in the last six years.
The yet-to-be-named female calf was born to mom Bertie after an approximately 400-day gestation period, the zoo said in a news release. The calf and her mom are currently being cared for behind the scenes, but they will eventually join the public exhibit on the Tropics Trail.
Malayan tapirs are one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia due to habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural purposes, flooding caused by hydroelectric projects and illegal trade.
"Malayan tapirs are endangered and this birth is a significant conservation achievement, as it’s estimated that fewer than 1,500 exist in the wild," Tropics Trail curator, Tom Ness said in a statement. "The recent success we’ve had with tapir births over the past six years is an example of the incredible care our zookeeper and veterinary teams provides our animals."
Tapirs typically weigh 10-20 pounds at birth, but they grow quickly and can weigh as much as 450 pounds at one year old.
"For the first 6-8 months of their life, tapir calves resemble furry watermelons with legs," according to a press release.
For the time being, the mother-daughter pair can be seen live on the zoo's webcam.