German Zoo Celebrates The Birth Of An Adorable And Endangered Malayan Tapir Cub
This is the moment a newborn endangered Malayan tapir cub nervously observes its enclosure while sticking close to its mum.
Zookeepers at Leipzig Zoo in Germany said mum Laila gave birth to the cub last Friday morning, 5th November.
The zoo said in a statement: “Laila is a very experienced mother who has already given birth to several young animals and accordingly takes care of them.”
The cub in the clip is a Malayan tapir (Acrocodia indica) which is the only tapir that is native to the Old World.
In the wild, they are found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, more specifically in Sumatra in Indonesia, the Malaysian Peninsular, Myanmar, and Thailand.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers the Malayan tapir to be ‘endangered’, which means the species is very likely to become extinct in the near future.
Leipzig Zoo has been very successful in breeding and rearing the endangered species.
In the last decade, three Malayan tapirs named Baru, Kedua and Ketiga were born at the zoo and later reintroduced into the wild as part of a conservation programme.
The gestation period of the Malayan tapir is around 390 days and they have been known to live for over 30 years.
Despite weighing only a few kilogrammes at birth, if this little cub makes it to adulthood, it could one day weigh in excess of 300 kilogrammes (661 lbs).
The first few days of the cub’s life will be critical, especially as the last two offspring born to Laila did not make it to adulthood.
Ariel Jacken, the senior curator at the zoo, said: “We sincerely hope that we will have more luck this time and that the youngster can make it all the way to adulthood.”
The father of the little cub is Laila’s long-term partner Copasih, 13, but Laila, 12, will take centre stage in the little cub’s early life.
In the clip, the bonding between the pair can be clearly seen, as the little cub does not dare to venture too far away from its mum.
According to the zoo, the most important thing to do now is give the mother and the cub time to rest, relax and spend time together developing their mother-child bond.
As Laila gave birth in an outdoor enclosure, the two are being allowed to roam freely between indoor and outdoor habitats. This will give visitors an opportunity to see them outside and give the mother-and-son duo more freedom.