July 6, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

San Diego Zoo Welcomes First Endangered Baird’s Tapir in 30 Years

It’s “watermelon” season at the San Diego Zoo! A 13-day-old endangered Baird’s tapir calf strutted his unique striped coat—with a watermelon-like pattern—before his scheduled bottle feeding at the Zoo’s Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey. Animal care staff are helping with assisted rearing of the youngster, along with daily interactions between the male calf and his mother Luna—and the other animals that share his mixed-species habitat, behind a protective fence.

“Animal care and veterinary staff performed ultrasounds, using protective contact, for months leading up to the calf’s birth, to identify milestones in Luna’s pregnancy and provide useful information for future pregnancies of this endangered species,” said Matt Akel, animal care manager. “The last endangered Baird’s calf born at the Zoo was in 1988, so we’re thrilled with the arrival of this male—and happy to provide him with optimal care, since mom wasn’t successful.”

After a 13-month gestation period, the calf was born behind the scenes on June 13, 2018 to first-time mom Luna. When she wasn’t able to care for her newborn, animal care staff stepped in with assisted rearing, to ensure the calf’s health. At birth, the calf weighed 22 pounds, but he has steadily gained weight. Keepers milked Luna through protected contact during the first week after the birth, to provide the calf with necessary nutrition and round-the-clock care. However, the calf’s diet is now being supplemented with goat’s milk and a protein mix, and bottle feedings are provided five times a day.

The calf’s spots and stripes serve as camouflage protection in the dappled light of the tapirs’ forest floor habitat. Calves begin to lose these markings after a few months, and they resemble miniature adults at about 8 months of age.

Baird’s tapirs are native to Mexico and Central America. As a key species in shaping and maintaining the biological diversity of tropical forests, tapirs are vital components in their ecosystems. They are important seed dispersers and leave their forest habitat well fertilized, helping ensure new growth of plants that provide food and shelter.

The Baird’s tapir is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Habitat loss and hunting have contributed to an estimated 50 percent population decline over the last 30 years. San Diego Zoo Global has long been committed to tapir conservation and has been a consistent supporter of tapir projects worldwide, along with contributing to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Tapir Specialist Group. Additionally, the San Diego Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Baird’s tapir Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to maintain a genetically viable population of this species in accredited institutions.

At the San Diego Zoo, the Baird’s tapirs live in a mixed-species habitat, sharing their space with capybaras and guanacos. Guests visiting the Zoo can view the new tapir calf in the upper yard when he ventures into his outdoor area.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

in News
Related Posts

Newsom Signs Sen. Ben Allen’s Pollution Bill That Places Recycling Costs on Producers Rather Than Municipalities

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022

Senate Bill 54 calls on the producers of specific materials to form a Producer Responsibility Organization  By Sam Catanzaro California...

LA City Council Approves Emblem Program to Identify Legal Cannabis Business

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022

Placards will serve as notice to the public and enforcement agencies that the business is licensed Last week, Los Angeles...

VP Kamala Harris Visits Santa Monica Fire Station

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022

Vice President and husband Doug Emhoff stop by Santa Monica Fire Station #2 on Monday By Sam Catanzaro Vice President...

City Council Approves Permanent Parklet Program For Local Businesses: Santa Monica Beat – July 4th, 2022

July 5, 2022

July 5, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Sony Calls For ‘respect’ After Gaming Developers Receive Online Bullying * City Council...

Landscaping 50 Percent Complete for George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon

July 3, 2022

July 3, 2022

Officials provide update for park under construction By Dolores Quintana A recent update from the City of Los Angeles’ Department...

John McEnroe and Patty Smyth Sell Malibu Home for $29 Million

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

Malibu Colony home sold to unknown buyer in private sale By Dolores Quintana John McEnroe, a retired former tennis star,...

SMa.r.t. Column: A Tale of Two Cities

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

The City of Santa Monica is surrounded on three sides by the City of Los Angeles. Therefore, while the jurisdictions...

Santa Monica City Council Approves Ballot Measure That Would Increase Hotel Bed Tax

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Santa Monica’s bed tax has been raised since 2004 By Dolores Quintana In a vote on June 28, the Santa...

PETA Attempts to Stop the Beach Club From Holding Annual Fireworks Display

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Parking lot where display is held is on City of LA land, not Santa Monica, allowing Club to obtain permit...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Prepares for SMASH/Muir Campus Mold Removal

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Exact costs for repairs still unknown By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro  It is unknown exactly how much the total...

Watering Restrictions for Santa Monica Residents Take Effect Soon

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

New restrictions will go into effect on July 5, limiting watering to twice a week By Sam Catanzaro New restrictions...

Daily Harvest Recalls Meal Kits Handed out at Venice Event Following 470 Cases of Mysterious Illness

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Direct-to-consumer meal kit company under fire for handling of outbreak tied to lentil and leek meal kit By Sam Catanzaro...

Central Coast Brewery Makes Westside Acquisitions

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Figueroa Mountain Brewing acquires Broxton Brewery, The Stalking Horse and more. Staff, current beer taps to remain on board at...

Mexican Restaurant Possibly Expanding Into Former Swingers Space

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Bar Hermanito applies for an alcohol exemption sales permit for space at 802 Broadway in Santa Monica By Dolores Quintana...

Six Family-Fun Westside Fourth of July Events

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Fireworks, parades, runs and more taking place across the Westside  By Ashley Sloan  Pacific Palisades  The Pacific Palisades will be...