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A Brazilian tapir has been born at Newquay Zoo – the first in the UK this year

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As the staff at Newquay Zoo explain, first-time tapir parents Al and Emily have taken to parenthood, but are having a problem that many human parents will recognise – their new baby won’t eat her vegetables!

Keeper at Newquay Zoo, Tracey Twomey, says: “She was born on Mother’s Day, and started trying solid food at about two weeks. At the moment she loves carrot and apple, but she's not so keen on parsnip – she chews it up and then spits it all out.

“Emily and Al have both been amazing with the baby. For first-time parents they've really taken it all in their stride and have been very attentive, while still letting her explore.”

The tapirs share their home with Johnson the capybara, who’s become something of an uncle figure to the little one. Tracey adds: “The baby is confident, she enjoys spending time with both mum and dad and also with Johnson the capybara, who she loves to cuddle up with.”

Tapirs come from the same family as zebras and horses, and babies are born with stripes and spots on their coats to help keep them camouflaged. They’re now endangered in the wild due to population decline from hunting and loss of habitat. Native to South America, their numbers in the wild are declining rapidly – so keepers at the charity zoo are over the moon to welcome this little one.

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The baby can be seen at Newquay Zoo – for more information call 01637 873342.


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