From BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo
BATON ROUGE, LA. — BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a new Baird's Tapir, one of only three born in the United States this year. Born at the Baton Rouge Zoo and recently released from quarantine, the baby is now on exhibit with its mother and father.
Baird's tapir is an endangered species native to Central America and northern South America that has suffered continuous habitat loss due to rainforest clearing. The tapirs' closest relatives are the horse and rhinoceros and its distinguishing feature is a prehensile nose which looks and functions like a shortened elephant trunk. Baby tapirs resemble a watermelon with stripes and spots that act as camouflage. The pattern starts to fade as early as five months of age, but the baby will stay with the mother for about a year.