Minnesota Zoo Media Contact
If you are a member of the press, please contact: Josh Le
Communications and Media Relations Manager
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Apple Valley, MINN – November 16, 2017 – The Minnesota Zoo is excited to announce the 14 year old female Malayan tapir (pronounced tay-purr), Bertie, is pregnant with her third calf. The calf is expected to be born in late December 2017 or early January 2018. This will be the Minnesota Zoo’s third tapir calf in 22 years.
“We are all looking forward to welcoming this new calf,” says Tropics and Minnesota Trail assistant curator, Laurie Trechsel. “Bertie has been a great mom to her other calves and we thought this year’s Give to the Max Day was the perfect time to share our happy news with everyone.” Updates on Bertie and her expected calf will be provided via the Zoo’s social media channels and website.
The Malayan tapir’s gestation period varies from 390-410 days. Mothers give birth to a single calf (twins are rare). At birth, a calf weighs approximately 10-20 pounds. A female normally births a calf every 2-4 years. For the first 6-8 months of their life, tapir calves resemble furry watermelons with legs. They are dark brown to black with alternating bands of yellowish-white stripes and spots. Young tapirs grow quickly and can weigh as much as 450 pounds at one year of age and reach adult size in about 2-3 years.
The Malayan tapir is one of the most endangered animals in Southeast Asia. Tapir populations are declining due to habitat loss from deforestation for agricultural purposes, flooding caused by dam building for hydroelectric projects, and illegal trade.
In human care, the Malayan tapir is managed for breeding purposes by a Species Survival Plan® (SSP), which, through the coordinated efforts of several zoos throughout the United States, helps maintain the captive gene pool for the future aid of the wild population. The Minnesota Zoo currently participates in approximately 90 SSP programs, including the Malayan tapir SSP.
The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. The Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).