Tapirs Get Extra Sun Protection in Hot Weather!

Fri, 04/06/2010 - 1:00am

Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent, have been taking turns to apply sun-cream to the Tapirs during the recent sunny weather. Soaring temperatures have meant that the Malayan Tapirs, including  4 year old Istana, pictured, have to be covered in the cream regularly to prevent them burning while out and about in their enclosures. As Malayan Tapirs live in shady rainforest environments they are particularly sensitive to the sun, and with temperatures predicted to reach 25°C this week, keepers are being extra vigilant.

Keeper Bob Savill (pictured) commented:

‘Just like people, animals can get burned by UV rays and it is important to protect them where necessary from painful and potentially dangerous sun burn. Tapirs in particular need a helping hand keeping their sensitive skin protected from the sun. They don't seem to mind the sun-cream being applied and most visitors don't tend to notice! We use a special Equine sun cream that is safe, water resistant and fitting as Tapirs are in fact a kind of prehistoric horse'

In the wild, the Malayan tapirs live in South East Asia, mainly in Malaysia, Sumatra and Thailand. Tapir numbers are estimated to have undergone a massive decline of over 50% in the last 3 generations due to habitat destruction.

The Malayan tapir is one of many endangered species protected by The Aspinall Foundation, the charity which works in conjunction with Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks in Kent. At Port Lympne, there have been seven tapir births, the latest being Tengui, in 2006. The work of The Aspinall Foundation both at its Kent parks and overseas is funded entirely by visitor revenue and donations from the public.

Adopt a Tapir from as little as £3 per month