TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It is joyous news for the Reid Park Zoo, as it announces the birth of a Baird's Tapir. According to a recent release the baby tapir was born on Nov. 9 at 9:03 p.m. to the Zoo's 15-year old female Baird's Tapir, Contessa and 11-year-old male tapir Tupi.
The newest baby tapir is a male, that weighed 25 pounds when he was born.
"Contessa has previously been an attentive mother and we expect she will be the same with her new calf," said Sue Tygielski, Reid Park Zoo Curator, in a news release. "It is great to see how responsive Contessa is to the whistling and squeaking noises of her calf as he explores his surroundings."
Visitors may catch a glimpse of the little tapir as the animal care team allows him to explore his new habitat. While not on exhibit Contessa and her baby will remain "behind the scenes" to ensure the baby tapir has minimal stress as he grows in size.
There is no name for the baby tapir yet, but Tucson will soon have a chance to vote on their favorite choice in the coming weeks, according to the news release.
Mom tapir, Contessa, came to Reid Park Zoo specifically to breed with Tupi as part of a Species Survival Plan. Reid Park Zoo works in partnership with other facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to cooperatively manage threatened and endangered species.
This little male calf comes after Toliver, Contessa and Tupi's last calf born in 2015, was transferred to Africam Safari in Puebla, Mexico as a breeding recommendation from the AZA.
Both of these births demonstrate Reid Park Zoo's strong commitment to the conservation of wildlife.
The Baird's tapir is classified as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. Due to the low reproductive rate, the Baird's tapir is particularly vulnerable to disturbance such as habitat loss.