TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – Imagine what it would be like to be pregnant for an entire year!
After over a year of pregnancy “Ubi,” an endangered Malian tapir at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo gave birth to her third calf. The baby is a girl who is named “Tengahari,” which means” noon” in Malay and happens to be the time she was born.
The zoo announced on Tuesday that after some rest and nursing time, Tengahari is out in her habitat with the rest of the family, including sibling Tembikai – the male calf born at the zoo in January 2015 and father Albert, by far the most active and playful of the tapirs at the Zoo.
Guests can identify the newest arrival by a number of distinct white markings on her fur. These markings help the newborn hide in grasses while young and vulnerable, the markings will eventually fade, as Tengahari grows older.
During the day, visitors can watch the other tapirs using their snouts and excellent sense of smell to sniff out their favorite treats – like smeared bananas.
This species is facing a number of threats, primarily due to human development and habitat loss.
“We are very pleased with the successful birth and are delighted that Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has again contributed to the long term sustainability of this unique species,” said Dr. Larry Killmar, Chief Zoological Officer, Senior Vice President, and zoo director.
While sometimes mistaken for a relative of the pig or anteater, the Malayan tapir is actually more closely related to the house or rhinoceros. They are among the most primitive large mammals in the world, dating back to 20 million years ago.
Due to population fragmenting, there are four distinct species of tapir, three of which live in South America. The Malayan tapir, the only species living in Asia, can be found in Burma and Thailand within dense forests, usually near water.
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