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Zoo's warm welcome to tiny tapir.

TWYCROSS Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a new baby tapir.

It has only just become possible for visitors to spot the week-old female calf skipping around as she has spent her first days under the careful watch of the zoo's team of vets.

Born in the early hours of last Friday to mum, Muffin, and dad, Pele, the baby tapir is yet to be named.

The zoo is planning a competition, asking members of the public to suggest names on their Facebook page.

And staff at the zoo say she's a "cheeky" character, sticking her tongue out for photographers.

Julian Chapman, the zoo's veterinary team leader, said: "We are extremely pleased with the arrival of a female tapir. When we arrived at the zoo, we saw mum had given birth and both were bright and alert and getting to know each other. The calf is strong, healthy and suckling well and we are very pleased with the progress.

"We have seen that our new tapir likes to have a run around and explore, and then head back to her indoor enclosure for a short rest."

Like all young tapirs, the calf is sporting a coat of spots and stripes which she will lose as she grows older.

Tapirs give birth to a single youngster after a gestation period of about 13 months.

Brazilian tapirs are found in lowland regions of northern and central South America.

The zoo says this young female will play an important role in the European Breeding Programme of this species.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 27, 2012
Words:255
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