1. ITV Report

Twycross Zoo welcomes their newest member of the animal family

The female Brazilian tapir is just a week old. Photo: Twycross Zoo

Twycross Zoo have announced the birth of a new addition to their animal family.

The baby Brazillian tapir was born in the early hours of 19 October to parents Muffin and Pele. Until now she has been kept under watch by the zoo's veterinary team.

Tapirs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist.

The female calf was born with a full set of spots and stripes which she will lose as she grows older.

The calf is currently without a name, with staff asking for suggestions from members of the public.

The female calf does not yet have a name. Credit: Twycross Zoo

We decided to give mum and baby a bit of space for the first few days so they’ve remained off show within the enclosure up until now. The calf is strong, healthy and suckling well and we are very pleased with the progress.

– Team Leader, Julian Chapman
The Brazilian tapir eats leaves, fruits and crops Credit: Twycross Zoo

What are Brazilian tapirs?

  • Found in lowland regions of northern and central South America.
  • Also known as lowland tapirs, they are dark brown with lighter patches around their cheeks, throat and ears.
  • They have a thick mane of fur down their back which protects them from predators, like jaguars, who target the neck area when hunting.
  • Between dawn and dusk the Brazilian tapir hides in the bushes, coming out at night to hunt for food.
  • They are excellent swimmers and will spend a lot of time in the mud looking for parasites.
  • They only come together for mating when the male will make clicking and squealing sounds to attract the female.
  • Their diet consists of leaves, fruit and crops such as cane and cocoa. They are particularly fond of salt and will actively search it out.
  • The main threats to the Lowland tapir are habitat loss and hunting.