Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Denver Zoo Welcomes Malayan Tapir Birth

Denver Zoo Welcomes Malayan Tapir Birth

The Denver Zoo is celebrating the arrival of its newest resident - a baby Malayan tapir. She's only the third birth of her species at the zoo - and also the third for her proud parents, Rinny and Benny.

Staff say Rinny is a great mom to Umi, patiently making sure the young tapir is nursing.

Umi and her mom will stay behind the scenes until the baby tapir can swim and both are comfortable enough to venture outside.

Though they are most closely related to horses and rhinos, tapirs are similar in build to pigs, but significantly larger.

Malayan tapirs have a big, barrel-shaped body ideal for crashing through dense forest vegetation.

Malayan tapirs are native to Asia, now only found in the rain forests of the Indochinesse peninsula and Sumatra. Umi can be picked up now, but tapirs eventually grow to more than 3 feet tall, stretch to 8 feet long and weigh up to 900 pounds as adults. There are now fewer than 2,000 Malayan tapirs in the wild due to habitat loss and hunting, according to the zoo. They are part of the zoo's Toyota Elephant Passage habitat.

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