Birth of baby tapir at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm generates global interest
THE birth of a baby Tapir at a North Somerset zoo farm has been generating interest from around the world.
Staff at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall are celebrating the arrival of a humbug striped baby female Lowmand Tapir – with animal lovers from as far away as Canada contacting the farm for details of the birth.
Baby Tapir Tallulah was born on December 28 – an early Christmas present for hardworking keepers with the birth being screened live on the zoo's 24 hour webcam.
With a loyal international internet fan-base, news of the zoos successful tapir birth spread quickly and resulted in a stream of Facebook messages and emails of congratulations and requests for news and photos.
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A family from Canada quickly rang to book a special keeper experience at Noah's Ark for their son, after a previous visit to the UK when he fell in love with the zoo's tapirs.
Tapirs are classed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and Tallulah is the result of a successful breeding programme and was born after a 400 day gestation.
Tallulah is the second foal born to mum Tara and dad Toby, with brother Troy now living at Heads of Ayr Farm Park in Scotland.
Keeper Kelli Inglis works with the family of tapirs in the zoos South American section and said:
"We're all thrilled to have little Tallulah join the family and pleased to say she's doing very well and seems to be enjoying getting to know her new surroundings.
"We get lots of comments from viewers of the webcam and many tapir fans go on to book a keeper experience here at the zoo to meet them face-to-face which is great fun.
"The camera is also useful for the keepers as it's helped us gain a better understanding of the breeding habits and daily condition of an animal that is becoming increasingly rare in the wild."
The zoo, which opens for the season again this weekend, won a regional 'Access for All' award this week in the popular Bristol Tourism and Hospitality awards in recognition of its facilities and customer service.
The zoo is set for its busiest year with the opening of a much-anticipated 20 acre elephant exhibit later this summer called Elephant Eden.
To see the tapir family visitors can log on to the Tapir webcam at http://www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk/pages/visiting/webcams/webcams.php