Baby Baird's tapir born at Reid Park Zoo

Baby Baird's tapir born at Reid Park Zoo

Contessa and Tupi are the proud parents of a Baird's tapir male calf, Reid Park Zoo announced Thursday.

The calf was born Nov. 9 at 9:03 p.m. and he weighed 25 pounds, according to a news release.

"Contessa has previously been an attentive mother and we expect she will be the same with her new calf," said Sue Tygielski, a zoo curator.

"It is great to see how responsive Contessa is to the whistling and squeaking noises of her calf as he explores his surroundings," Tygielski said.

Contessa, 15, and Tupi, 11, are breeding as part of a species survival plan. The zoo works in partnership with other facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to cooperatively manage threatened and endangered species, officials said.

The baby calf does not have a name, but the Tucson community will be able to vote on this little one's name in the coming weeks.

Zoo visitors also may get a peek at the calf while he explores his habitat. When not on exhibit, Contessa and her calf will remain behind-the-scenes to ensure an environment with minimal stress as the calf continues gaining strength, said zoo officials.

Prior to this calf, Contessa and Tupi had Toliver who was born two years ago. Toliver was transferred to the Africam Safari in Puebla, Mexico as a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Baird's tapir, also known as the Central American tapir, is native to Mexico, Central America and northwestern South America. It is classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at or 573-4104. On Twitter: @cduartestar

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