Endangered baby Malayan tapir born at Minnesota Zoo over the summer

A baby Malayan tapir was born at the Minnesota Zoo on Aug. 8. (Minnesota Zoo / FOX 9)

A baby Malayan tapir was born at the Minnesota Zoo over the summer.  

The zoo says the baby male tapir was born Aug. 8. He has been spent the first few weeks of his life bonding behind the scenes with his mom, Bertie, and learning to swim.

The baby tapir will make his debut in the tapir habitat along the Tropics Trail in the next few days. 

The Malayan tapir is the largest of the four tapir species and the only one native to Asia, according to the zoo. The species is listed as endangered. Wild populations of Malayan tapirs have been declining, primarily due to habitat loss as land is cleared for human settlement and agriculture such as palm oil plantations. 

You can help name the baby tapir. The zoo has an online poll where guests can vote on one of four name choices, all of which have connections to the native area of Malayan tapirs: Tua, Zaka, Sabtu or Teruna. 

Voting will close Sunday night. The zoo will announce the name of the baby tapir on Monday. 

Minnesota Zoo tapirs

Malayan tapir, Bertie, and her yet unnamed newborn baby tapir behind the scenes on the Tropics Trail at the Minnesota Zoo. (Minnesota Zoo / FOX 9)

The Minnesota Zoo participates in the Malayan tapir Species Survival Plan, which coordinates breeding to help maintain the tapir gene pool for the future aid of wild populations, according to a news release. 

Eight Malayan tapirs have been born at the Minnesota Zoo since 1985. This is Bertie's fourth calf. Her last calf was born in 2018.