Baby tapir birth

Edinburgh Zoo received a wonderful gift for the new year in the form of a cute baby Malayan tapir.

The male tapir, who has been named Mekong, was born to parents Sayang and first-time father Mogli in the evening of New Years Eve.

Leader of the zoo’s hoofstock team Lorna Hughes said: “The calf has had a big impact on keepers and visitors already. Sayang is a great mum with lots of experience. This is her fifth calf now.

“Tapirs are pregnant for around 13 months so it is great to finally see another healthy calf. Although we are very pleased with his progress the first week or so is a sensitive time for mother and baby.”

Mekong’s distinctive coat will not last for long, as tapirs form their adult colouration between four and seven months of age.

When fully grown Mekong will reach a height of more than three feet tall, be around eight feet in length and weigh up to 50 stone.

The species is currently classified as endangered in the wild and facing a very high risk of extinction due to the threats of natural predators, hunting and deforestation.

It is estimated less than 2,000 are living in the wild.

Visitors can see the progress of Mekong by visiting the Malayan tapir enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo.

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or


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