The Debrecen Zoo has some great news to report on World Animal Day as they have recently had yet another breeding success with their South American tapir couple named Lunda and Samu.
Born in mid-September after a 13-month gestation period, the little female called Melitta had an initial weight of around 10 kg. As all newborn tapirs, she has light spots and stripes along her dark body and, fortunately, she is in good health and has an excellent appetite. Still cared for by her mother, she is already exhibited in their enclosure on the Zoo’s South America Row.
Endemic to New World rainforests, South American tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) have greatly decreased in number due to massive habitat loss and, thus, are currently listed as Vulnerable in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The Debrecen Zoo has been keeping tapirs under a European Endangered Species Program (EAZA EEP) since 2011 and their breeding pair is the most successful one in Hungary, having raised a total of 3 offspring in 8 years. The institution is now home to the largest South American tapir population in the country.