After over a year of pregnancy, “Ubi,” an endangered Malayan tapir at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, gave birth on Sept. 10 to her third calf, a girl named “Tengahari.”
Newborn Malayan Tapir is Newest Addition at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2016) – After over a year of pregnancy, “Ubi,” an endangered Malayan tapir at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, gave birth on Sept. 10 to her third calf, a girl named “Tengahari,” which means "noon" in Malay – the time she was born. She is a sibling to “Tembikai” - the male calf born at the Zoo in January 2015. This species is facing a number of threats, primarily due to human development and habitat loss.
The recent birth at the Zoo is critical, as having a healthy population in human care could create a safety net to edge off the potential of total extinction. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo works with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to manage the population in human care in an effort to maximize genetic diversity.
“We are very pleased with the successful birth and are delighted that Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has again contributed to the long term sustainability of this unique species,” said Dr. Larry Killmar, Chief Zoological Officer, Senior Vice President, and Zoo Director.
Guests can see the new calf on exhibit, though she is still staying close to mom, nursing and growing. The new calf recently joined the other tapirs, including her father, “Albert,” by far the most active and playful of the tapirs at the Zoo. Guests will be able to identify the newest arrival by a number of distinct white markings on her fur. These markings help the newborn hide in grasses while young and vulnerable, the markings eventually fade as the animal grows older. During the day, visitors can watch the other tapirs using their snouts and excellent sense of smell to sniff out their favorite treats - like smeared bananas.
The Zoo will keep guests informed on updates regarding the new baby and when she will be introduced to the tapir habitat.
While sometimes mistaken for a relative of the pig or anteater, the Malayan tapir is actually more closely related to the horse or rhinoceros. They are among the most primitive large mammals in the world, dating back to 20 million years ago. Due to population fragmenting, there are four distinct species of tapir, three of which live in South America. The Malayan tapir, the only species living in Asia, can be found in Burma and Thailand within dense forests, usually near water.