Spots and Stripes at Wild Animal Park

Mon, 21/11/2011 - 12:00am

Keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park are celebrating the birth of a Brazilian tapir. Born just a week ago, on the 27th October, the infant - who is yet to be named, is already venturing out into his enclosure whilst his mother, Corumba, keeps a close eye on him.

Joel Bunce Head Hoofstock Keeper at the park is delighted with the new addition: ‘This is Corumba's  first calf so I was expecting both of them to be quite cautious, however the little chap is already exploring his enclosure and Corumba has taken to motherhood very well.'

Mother and calf have been separated from the father - Yavari so that they can have some time to bond together. The youngster will be introduced to his father shortly.

Joel said: ‘It is important to give mother and calf the time to bond. Typically a calf will stay with its mother for up to two years.'

Brazilian tapirs are born after a gestation period of approximately 13 months and are brown in colour with white spots and stripes - after about six months these will fade and the distinctive coarse mane which runs along the back of the neck will grow in.

The Brazilian tapir is found in rainforests and swamps in Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela and Paraguay and they are essentially forest dwellers. Young are born with a spotted and striped coat which helps to camouflage them and hide them from prey' explained Joel.

Visitors to Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury can watch the new addition grow and develop over the next few weeks and months when they take advantage of the passport offer - the one day ticket that lasts all year.

Posted 21.11.2011