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'Precious Gift' Arrives at Edinburgh Zoo

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(Image credit: Edinburgh Zoo)

What's stripey, spotty and cute all over? Edinburgh Zoo's new arrival, a three week old Malayan Tapir, who is turning heads with her unique look.

Keepers are delighted by the arrival of Baby Nadira, whose name means precious gift in Malayan. Nadira is the fourth baby born to Edinburgh Zoo's adult tapir pair, mum Sayang and dad Ka.

Hoofstock team leader Lorna Hughes said: We're really pleased with how both mum and daughter are doing. Sayang is an experienced mum and she's brilliant, she has been protective and attentive, but still relaxed about everything. Nadira is feeding well and going outside to explore.

(Image credit: Edinburgh Zoo)

Young Malayan tapirs have very attractive coats, but the spots and stripes also serve as excellent camouflage. At this time of year Nadira blends in really well to the autumn leaves. At about four to seven months young tapirs will begin to grow adult coats and develop the black and light grey colouration.

The Malayan tapir's long prehensile nose also makes them look very distinctive. They use this in much the same way an elephant would use its trunk to grasp food and pull it apart.

In the wild these elusive rainforest dwelling animals are under threat from natural predators, including leopards and tigers, as well as hunting and wide-scale deforestation due to farming and logging. Due to these pressures Malayan tapirs are marked as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, meaning they face a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

Live Science Staff
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