Zoo celebrates Brazilian arrival

STAFF at Linton Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a baby tapir.

Tapir, which come from the Brazilian rainforests, are large mammals whose closest relatives are horses, zebras and rhinos.

Linton Zoo’s adult pair, Shannon and Tanya, arrived there as babies in 1990.

Both are part of a European Breeding Programme aimed at saving them from extinction.

Tanya has now given birth to a healthy female calf, which yet to be named, after a normal 13-month pregnancy at the zoo, which is near Haverhill.

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A spokesman for the zoo said: “Shannon and Tanya have previously had 10 calves together which have gone to other zoos as part of the European breeding programme and now they are grandparents too.

“With the birth of calf number 11, we think that Shannon and Tanya may be the most successful pair.

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“Next time you visit take time to look at these strange creatures because, although shy, they become curious of quiet observers and will often come up to the fence to investigate their visitors.

“Tapir are one of the keepers’ favourites too, docile and affectionate they love to be scratched and tickled; they hardly need to be touched before they roll over or collapse into a trance.

“A European breeding programme will provide a safeguard against extinction for these wonderful creatures and the arrival of Linton’s latest female ensures another generation.”

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