Changing Planet

Malaya tapir introduced by San Diego Zoo (photo)

It looks like a pig with a trunk, but it is related to horses. Not yet a month old, San Diego Zoo’s newest Malaya tapir is starting to nibble on solid food already, the zoo said in a caption released with this photograph.

The tapir has been named Tembikai, which means “watermelon” in Malay, the zoo said.


Photo by Ken Bohn

The Malaya tapir is an Endangered species, so this birth is significant to the species’ population, the zoo said. “It also was significant because his mother, Chantek, is 25 years old, which is older than most tapirs when they give birth. But, Tembikai is doing well. He weighed 13 pounds when born Jan. 29, 2010, and is now 30 pounds,” the zoo added.

More photos of zoo animals can be found in our regular feature Zoo News.

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • akhmar

    so healthy tembikai..=)

  • slyoung

    Wow, such beautiful spots! It’s amazing how much their coat pattern changes from juvenile to adult.

  • Stardusty

    CUTEST ever! ThankS for sharing. Am smiling HUGE! Have always loved Tapirs so much. They fall just a millimeter under my first wild love species, the Okapi. What wonderful photos of God’s creatures. wow!

  • Susancai

    It is really a rare species. And it’s very lovely. Thank you for posting it.

  • jamesglo33

    Yes its spots are beautiful.hope their number will grow.

  • zmarburg

    This little guy is adorable! I visited the San Diego Zoo last year but was too early to actually see him in person. Hopefully when I return he will still be there and all grown up.

  • Danna19

    This is really a great animal. Im so glad he is safe at the zoo and he will be cared for. I work at filigree and we donate quite often to the local zoo. We try to help our best.

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