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Brazilian Tapir baby, Little Ron, is now out and about in his paddock after arriving a few days ago on October 23rd.
The youngster was born with a very pretty coat of pale spots and stripes on a reddish brown background.
When he is around a year old he will lose his markings and develop a beautiful light brown colour, just like his mum Summer and sister Quito.
The new addition has been named ‘Little Ron’ in memory of his Dad, Ronaldo, who sadly died at the park last month.
Ronaldo suffered an acute illness which resulted in his death.
David White section manager said:
“Staff miss Ronaldo greatly and he was a popular character amongst visitors to the park- so we thought it would be nice to carry on his memory by calling the baby Little Ron.
“Mum, Summer, is coping well and has had some assistance from Quito, her previous offspring.
"She is very attentive and protective of him, always keeping a look out and calling him when he is out of view, although this all changes when food is about!!”
“Quito was very interested in the birth and almost acted like a birthing companion for her mum. She has been helping to keep him occupied and is keeping a watchful eye over him.”
Brazilian tapirs live in the Amazon rainforest and spend much of their time foraging near water, which they also use as an escape route from predators such as jaguars.
They are able to stay submerged for hours using their long noses to breathe through, just like a snorkel. Tapirs are often confused with hippos and anteaters however, their closest living relatives are hoofed animals likes horses and rhinos.
Brazilian tapirs are currently listed as vulnerable in the wild due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and competition with livestock.
Brazilian Tapir facts:
· The tapir’s closest relatives are horses and rhinos.
· They inhabit jungle and forest lands in Central and South America as well as in South East Asia.
· A female tapir breeds once a year, the gestation period being 12 to 13 months.
· One of their main features is a short proboscis, an extension of the nose and upper lip, like an elephant’s trunk which has nostrils at the tip. It is used to pull and hold the branches of trees while the tapir is feeding.