Bristol

Baby Brazilian tapir makes debut at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Newborn tapir with parents Tamang and Denzil
Image caption The baby Brazilian tapir joins his parents Tamang and Denzil

A baby Brazilian tapir born three weeks ago has now joined his parents and sister at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

The male calf, who has not yet been named, is the seventh offspring born to the zoo's current tapir family.

Keeper Emily Pugh said: "He is strong, full of life and can be seen exploring his enclosure with his mother."

Tapirs are currently listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of threatened species.

'Inquisitive and learning'

Ms Pugh added: "He is very inquisitive, always learning and discovering, but likes to stay close to mum, Tamang."

The baby tapir is now the size of a small dog but should reach full adult size by 14 months, which keepers compared to the size of a Shetland pony.

At the moment he has a spotted and striped coat of light brown fur which provides camouflage in the tapir's native forest habitat.

At the age of six months this starts to disappear and is replaced with an overall colouring of dark brown.

He could weigh anything from 150kg to 300kg (330lbs to 660lbs).

Tapirs live in the wild in jungle and forest lands in Central and South America as well as in South East Asia.

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