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Malaya tapir introduced by San Diego Zoo (photo)

It looks like a pig with a trunk, but it is related to horses. Not yet a month old, San Diego Zoo’s newest Malaya tapir is starting to nibble on solid food already, the zoo said in a caption released with this photograph.

The tapir has been named Tembikai, which means “watermelon” in Malay, the zoo said.


Photo by Ken Bohn

The Malaya tapir is an Endangered species, so this birth is significant to the species’ population, the zoo said. “It also was significant because his mother, Chantek, is 25 years old, which is older than most tapirs when they give birth. But, Tembikai is doing well. He weighed 13 pounds when born Jan. 29, 2010, and is now 30 pounds,” the zoo added.

More photos of zoo animals can be found in our regular feature Zoo News.


  1. Danna19
    June 12, 2010, 3:47 pm

    This is really a great animal. Im so glad he is safe at the zoo and he will be cared for. I work at filigree and we donate quite often to the local zoo. We try to help our best.

  2. zmarburg
    June 9, 2010, 12:16 pm

    This little guy is adorable! I visited the San Diego Zoo last year but was too early to actually see him in person. Hopefully when I return he will still be there and all grown up.

  3. jamesglo33
    June 1, 2010, 11:53 pm

    Yes its spots are beautiful.hope their number will grow.

  4. Susancai
    May 28, 2010, 2:57 am

    It is really a rare species. And it’s very lovely. Thank you for posting it.

  5. Stardusty
    April 8, 2010, 3:04 pm

    CUTEST ever! ThankS for sharing. Am smiling HUGE! Have always loved Tapirs so much. They fall just a millimeter under my first wild love species, the Okapi. What wonderful photos of God’s creatures. wow!

  6. slyoung
    March 7, 2010, 2:27 pm

    Wow, such beautiful spots! It’s amazing how much their coat pattern changes from juvenile to adult.

  7. akhmar
    March 5, 2010, 7:05 pm

    so cute..be healthy tembikai..=)