Breaking News
More () »

Seattle's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and More | Seattle, Washington | KING5.com

It's a boy! First Malayan tapir calf born in Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo's 114-year history

There are fewer than 3,000 of these animals worldwide.

TACOMA, Wash. — An endangered Malayan tapir calf was born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma on Friday night.

He is the first tapir calf born at the zoo in its 114-year history.

"We're thrilled to welcome this calf into our Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium animal family," said Aaron Pointer, president of the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners. "This little one is another wonderful example of the zoo's commitment to the conservation of endangered species."

Credit: Point Defiance Zoo

The species is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

Only an estimated 2,500 remain scattered in Thailand, Malaysia and on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The species' numbers have declined dramatically due to human-animal conflict, including deforestation of their natural habitat.

The calf appears healthy and mom, 5-year-old Yuna, is doing well, said Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Head Veterinarian Karen Wolf. The calf's father is 5-year-old Baku.

He will not be on display for the public just yet as he continues to nurse and bond with his mother.

No word yet when he will move into a viewable habitat. 

In the next few weeks, the zoo will release potential names for the calf and will allow the public to vote on their favorite. 

You can find more information on the baby and other Malayan tapirs here. 

Credit: Point Defiance Zoo