San Diego Zoo celebrates birth of endangered Baird's tapir

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June 25 (UPI) -- The San Diego Zoo announced the birth of a female Baird's tapir, an endangered animal native to Mexico and Central America.

The zoo said the calf, born June 3 to mother Luna, is now on display alongside the facility's capybaras in an enclosure located in the Elephant Odyssey section of the zoo.


"Luna is bonding with her calf by vocalizing to her, licking her and keeping a close eye on her at all times," the zoo said in the announcement. "The calf is starting to get 'zoomies' and likes to mouth and play with leaves and food even if she's not eating it. They spend their time grooming, nursing and laying together."

The birth was hailed as a milestone for conservation efforts for the Baird's tapir, which is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. The animals are threatened by sport hunting in Costa Rica and habitat loss due to farming, cattle grazing, and palm oil and rubber plantations, the zoo said.


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