Endangered Malaysian tapir born in Amsterdam

Newborn Malaysian tapir (Picture: artis.nl)Newborn Malaysian tapir (Picture: artis.nl)

A Malaysian tapir gave birth to a healthy calf on Tuesday morning at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam. The two-minute birth went smoothly and the newborn animal can already walk with its mother, Artis reported. 

The Malaysian tapir is threatened with extinction making the birth particularly important. The animal's natural habitat is shrinking due to deforestation, agriculture and hunting. The zoo contributes to the European breeding program for the species and Artis also does extensive research on the fertility cycle of tapirs and the development of the fetus.

The tapir's pregnancy lasts from 390 to 400 days, and for the first six months the newborn tapir has a brown fur with white stripes and dots on it to provide a protective camouflage in the tropical undergrowth.

The mother and the calf can be seen this weekend in the tapir residence, located next to gorillas in the Artis Zoo.