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Name that tapir

Date: 03 Jul 2009

Malayan tapir calf

A Malayan tapir is born in Belfast Zoo and you have the opportunity to name and meet the long nosed and endangered species.

If your suggested name is chosen by a panel of zoo keepers and curators you will meet the latest arrival to the zoo.

Malayan tapirs are very rare, with fewer than 50 in European zoos, and a global zoo population of about 150 animals. While scientists believe there are less than 3000 left in the wild, European zoos are establishing a sustainable captive population. They are classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List 2009 and listed on CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Habitat destruction is the predominant threat, as a result of land in South East Asia being cleared for human settlement and agriculture, and rivers being dammed and land flooded for hydroelectric development.

Andrew Hope, Curator, said, “We are delighted about the birth. Our latest addition to the zoo is a huge achievement for the breeding programme. They are such an endangered animal and every birth is vital to sustaining a captive population. The competition is a great chance for someone to name our tapir. The chosen name will stay with the animal for life and is registered on the International Species Information System, the world standard for zoological data collection that we use to record all information about our animals”.

This competition is now closed.