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Rony steps out - after 13 months.

MEET Rony, the latest addition to Chester Zoo, who has been more than 13 months in the making.

The exotic little creature is a Malayan tapir, an endangered species which is related to both the horse and the rhinoceros.

Rony, who was named after a public vote, was born last week to proud parents Margery, 7, and Betong, 6, after a whopping 391-day pregnancy.

The calf weighed in at 5kg at birth and is only the second ever of his kind to be born at the zoo.

His birth has been hailed by conservationists because Malayan tapirs are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN's) Red List of Threatened Species.

Around half of the world's Malayan tapirs have been lost in the last 40 years, with fewer than 2,500 estimated to remain across Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand and Myanmar. Hunting, illegal logging and mass deforestation as land is cleared for unsustainable palm oil production are blamed for the decline in numbers.

Sarah Roffe, team manager, said: "It's wonderful to hear the pitter-patter of tiny, spotty Malayan tapir feet again for only the second time ever in the zoo's long history.

"Mum Margery is ever so good with the baby. She's very attentive but also gives him the chance to explore and find his feet."

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Malayan tapir Rony was born at Chester Zoo

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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Jul 30, 2019
Words:227
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