The Malayan tapir is a very unique looking animal, with a rather funny but strange little trunk. They grow between 1.8 m to 2.4 m or 6 to 8 feet in length and stand 90 to 107 cm or 3 to 3.5 feet tall. The weight of a tapir is between 250 to 320 kg or 550 to 700 pounds. There are different types of tapirs; the Malayan tapir is the largest of the species.
They have very poor eyesight, but their sense of smell and their hearing are excellent, and they use these senses rather than rely on eyesight. They carry their young for around 390 days, after which a single offspring is born. The baby looks totally different to the Mother, the coat of the baby is covered with white strips and spots, and this is to resemble the dappled light of the forest and is a protection. When older of course they then have the 2 tone colouring, and when asleep these animals can resemble rocks, which may protect them.
They are unfortunately an endangered species.
The baby Malayan tapir that was born at Belfast zoo is called Marjorie, and she was born on the 4 March 2012.
Her Mum “Gladys” came to the Belfast Zoo in 1994 from the Toronto zoo, and her Father “Elmer” came from the Mulhouse Zoo in France in 1995.
You can learn more about Marjorie at the Belfast Zoo’s web site.
The Zoo also has free desktop wallpaper of some baby animals including one of the baby tapir if anyone is interested for the kids or themselves. 🙂
The video below is of a baby tapir born at the Woodland Park Zoo back in 2007, sorry I couldn’t find a video of Marjorie from the Belfast Zoo, but Marjorie is exactly the same as this baby below.