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Cotswold Wildlife Park celebrates first baby Tapir birth in 8 years


Cotswold Wildlife Park celebrates first baby Tapir birth in 8 years

Cotswold Wildlife Park is celebrating their first Brazilian Tapir birth since 2006. The calf has been named Lolita and was born to first-time parents Gomez and Cali. Visitors can see her exploring the enclosure she shares with her parents, alongside the world’s largest rodent species – the Capybara. Both species are native to South America but Tapirs can also be found in Central America and Malaysia.

Baby Tapirs are striking in appearance and visually differ greatly from the adults. The reason for this is survival. For the first few weeks of their lives, the mother will make sure the vulnerable calf is hidden in thick foliage in the forest while she leaves to browse. Their coats are covered with stripes and spots which mimicks the speckled sunlight on the forest floor, so the calf can brilliantly camouflage itself in the wild against predators. When Lolita was first born, visitors were unaware that a newborn Tapir was just feet away from them until keepers pointed the baby out.
Cotswold Wildlife Park has a successful history breeding Tapirs as part of an Endangered Species Breeding Programme. They were one of the first large mammals in the Burford collection (which opened in 1970). Young breeding pair Gomez and Cali are proving to be excellent parents and Lolita is growing up to be a confident, independent youngster and a welcome addition to the Mammals section.

Curator of Cotswold Wildife Park, Jamie Craig, said: “We have done incredibly well with this species in the past but we are delighted to have a first calf from our new pair. The initial introduction between the adults did not go exactly to plan and it was a relief to us all when they finally settled together.”
Lolita is not the only new addition at the Park. Other new arrivals include a baby Colobus Monkey, three Grey Mouse Lemur babies (the smallest Lemur species on earth) and the Red Pandas recently gave birth to a female cub.

Visitors can see the youngsters at the Park daily from 10am (last entry is at 3.30pm).


Explore Gloucestershire
4 November 2014


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