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Tapir calf born
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of a Brazilian tapir born early on Tuesday, 5th
June. The male calf, born to mum Rio, and dad Marmaduke, is the pair’s first calf together.
Team leader Eddie O’Brien, said, “We are delighted with the birth of the tapir calf. Mum and calf are doing very well and we are really happy with how well Rio is doing as a first time mum. The calf was up and about quickly after he was born, he is really inquisitive!”
Tapir calves are born with a number of white spots and stripes which act as camouflage in the wild. The spots and stripes mimic the dappled sunlight on the forest floor but these markings will disappear by adulthood. Although this is Rio’s first calf, Marmaduke has successfully fathered 17 tapir calves to date.
Last year Rio, the female tapir arrived at Dublin Zoo from Marwell Wildlife in the UK to join Marmaduke the male tapir. A year on, the keepers are delighted to see how well both have hit it off and are even more delighted that they have successfully bred a new calf.
These nocturnal mammals are native to the tropics of South and Central America. Tapirs have a short trunk, which they use to grab branches and leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. Tapirs feed each morning and evening. They are excellent swimmers and can dive to feed on aquatic plants.