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Rare Malayan tapir born at Edinburgh Zoo

It's a girl! Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland have welcomed a female Malayan tapir calf. The endangered animals' habitat is being threatened by palm oil plantations and hunters.

The female Malayan tapir calf, born on September 18 to mother Sayang and father Mowgli at Edinburgh Zoo, is called Maya. The new arrival is just finding her feet and is being well cared for by her mother, according to the zoo's press release.

In a tweet, the zoo invites people to visit to "hear the pitter patter of some special little hooves."

The calf's typical brown fur with white stripes will disappear at around three months of age, when Maya will adopt the typical black and white look of her parents.

The Malayan or Asian tapir is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) red list of threatened species. The organization estimated that in the last three generations, populations have halved, with just 2,500 adult tapirs alive today.

The IUCN said the animals, who have few natural enemies because of their size, are being threatened by hunters and by palm oil plantations and other large-scale conversions of their habitat, which is primarily in southeast Asia.

Read more: Palm oil is the world's most widely consumed oil

"Maya will go on to play an important role in the conservation of her species as part of the wider European Endangered Species Breeding Programme," Karen Stiven, Senior Hoofstock Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo said.

 

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