New zoo baby sparks hope for the tapir

PUBLISHED: 12:36 30 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 31 May 2010

New tapir baby, Yarah (Picture by Chris Ward-Humphries)

New tapir baby, Yarah (Picture by Chris Ward-Humphries)

A BABY tapir born at Linton Zoo is proving that there is hope for the survival of an endangered species. Keeper Kim Simmons said: Tapirs live deep in the Brazilian rainforest, but because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting it is has al

A BABY tapir born at Linton Zoo is proving that there is hope for the survival of an endangered species.

Keeper Kim Simmons said: "Tapirs live deep in the Brazilian rainforest, but because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting it is has already become extinct in part of its range."

The calf, which has been named Yarah, meaning Water Lady, was born on November 19 and is part of the European Breeding Programme aimed at saving the tapir from extinction.

The tapir is a shy creature taking to water when threatened where it is able to stay submerged for hours using its long nose as a snorkel until it feels safe to surface. They feed on roots and vegetation but never strip a bush bare of its leaves.

"Tapirs are one of the keepers' favourite animals," said Kim. "They are docile and affectionate and love to be scratched and tickled."

For more information about Linton Zoo call 01223 891308 or visit www.lintonzoo.com.

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