Metro Richmond Zoo welcomes Brazilian Tapir calf - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Metro Richmond Zoo welcomes Brazilian Tapir calf

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

There's a new addition at the Metro Richmond Zoo in Chesterfield.

An endangered Brazilian Tapir calf was born on July 29th to Pershing, a ten year old female, and Pico, a nine year old male. This is Pershing and Pico's first offspring together.

The tapirs are on exhibit in the Zoo's South American area, located near the train station. Pico is back at the exhibit, but Pershing and her baby are being kept inside a little longer to allow time for bonding.

According to the Metro Richmond Zoo, Brazilian Tapirs are classified as endangered due to deforestation and hunting. Calves are born with white spots and stripes, which act as camouflage in the wild, imitating the speckled sunlight on the forest floor. These markings fade away by the time the calves are about six months old.

Tapirs are excellent swimmers and spend a great deal of time near water; they can even submerge themselves under water and use their snout as a snorkel.

Mom and baby, which hasn't been named yet, are doing just fine and should be on exhibit soon.

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