HOUSTON - The Houston Zoo is showing off its newest resident: a cute little male Baird’s tapir born last weekend.
He is the first tapir born at the Houston Zoo and the first baby for mother Moli and dad Noah.
The little guy tips the scales at just over 24 pounds. When he’s full-grown, zoo experts say he could weigh more than 550 pounds!
The keepers who care for the tapir family will have the honor of naming the newborn.
Baird’s tapirs are born with a colorful pattern of stripes and spots that will disappear as they grow older.
There are four species of tapir, three in South America and one in Malaysia. In South America where Baird’s tapirs are found, tapirs are the largest land mammal and live throughout the marsh and swamps from Mexico to Western Brazil and Ecuador.
The Houston Zoo supports the protection of this endangered species in Central America and Brazil through a partnership with the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group.
Through the partnership, 57 tapirs have received tracking collars to help the group understand the elusive animal’s range and provide the best protection for adult and baby tapirs in the wild.
(© 2017 KHOU)