The Ramat Gan Safari Park is celebrating the first male tapir ever born within its territory. The birth took place on the night between Friday and Saturday.
The mother, Passiflora, gave birth to her first offspring, the female Papaya, 15 months ago. She became pregnant again, and on Saturday morning, the park staff noticed that she had given birth. The son weighs 5 kg. and is apparently healthy.
Whereas Papaya's birth took place on the edge of the water pool in the tapir's compound, endangering the newborn baby who was treated with antibiotics, this time Passiflora did the right thing and gave birth on dry land.
The father, who has been named Meir Tapiro, after a basketball star, was placed inside the tapirs' home for the night, because the handlers believed it was better for the baby to learn how to suckle without being distracted by the father.
The handlers are helping the baby tapir by petting the mother in order to coax her to lie on her side, then leading the baby to her to suckle. They have also emptied the pool in order to protect the baby from drowning.
Tapirs are born with yellowish stripes on their bodies, which disappear after about six months.
The South American tapir is in danger of extinction, so the fact that Passiflora is able to successfully bear healthy babies in relatively quick succession has added importance, in the view of the Safari's experts.
The Safari is looking for suggestions for a name for the baby. The only condition is that it should start with a P.