Baby Malay Tapirs Born At Singapore Night Safari in 2003
SR Nandakumaren writes from the Singapore
I have been working in the Night Safari
for 11 years, and looking after the tapirs for 10 years of those
eleven. In the 10 years I have experience about 10 tapir births.
The latest calf, a female, was born on 29/11/03. Her name is Karthi.
Karthi's father's name is One Eye Jack, obviously as it sounds he
only has one eye. He is about 12 yrs old and was acquired from Malaysia.
Her mother's name is Suria, she is 10 years old and was born in
our day zoo.
When Karthi was born, she weighed 10.3 kg on her second day. She
one of our heaviest calves. We are taking photos and weights
to see the difference in growth and the duration taken for the disappearance
of coloration's of as many calves as possible. So far Karthi is
calf to be monitored. We had 1.2 successful births in 2003 alone.
calf was a male born on 8/2/03, he was named Buas which means "wild"
His weight was 8.5 kg on the third day of birth. The second was
born on 18/9/03, she was named Bumi which means "earth"
in Malay as well. And
the third is Karthi.
To get all these done I HAVE to name two
of my fellow keepers who are Bakar who has been with me for two
years and Kamsari who's been with me three years. It's not easy
to get these animals onto the weighing scales, and not to move until
the weights have been taken. It is also dangerous because the animals
are very unpredictable at times. Also in our collection we have
an old female who's teeth are almost worn out. We are now preparing
her diet in a special way that she consumes all of it. We are also
taking her weight weekly and the rest of them on a monthly basis.
Currently we have 3.7 tapirs. The 1.2 that were born last year are
young and the rest are at breeding age. We have loan out 2.1 tapirs
, Australia and the UK. The day zoo (Singapore zoological gardens)
have the Malayan tapirs, but have transferred them to the Night
in 1994 which is just a stone throw away from the zoo. Now there
tapirs in the day zoo. In the Night Safari so far we had about (est.)
births , of which 3.4 still survives and the rest 0.3.1 died. The
prematurely ,because the mother had a high fever. The other 0.3
their 16th week. The 0.3 tapirs died due to different causes (Please
contact Nanda if interested in necropsy reports). Tapirs, like pigs,
are born lacking iron, so we inject them with it. We have noticed
that soon after birth calves have the habit of eating stuff from
the ground, like earth, twigs, and small stones. This we think can
cause gut problems, and that is why we cemented the whole breeding
den. After doing this all our calves survived.
For more information about these animals or husbandry at the Night
Safari Zoo, please contact Nanda: firstname.lastname@example.org