Malaysia seems worlds away from Chester Zoo in Liverpool. But, on the 30th of November, these worlds became a little closer.
In the cold, early hours on the 30th of November, Nessa, a female Malayan Tapir, was born at Chester Zoo. The Malayan Tapir is an endangered species facing extinction. This species bares biological similarities to both the rhinoceros and the horse. , Malayan tapirs can grow from 1.8 meters to 2.5 meters in length and are between 90cm to 100cm in height. Furthermore, their weight fluctuates from 250 kilograms to 320 kilograms.
Due to deforestation and the hunt for palm oil, these beautiful animals are a threatened species. With the loss of their Malaysian tropical habitat, they cannot survive in ecosystems they have not adapted to. Scientists have estimated that only 3,000 Malayan Tapirs are left, but BBC News Researchers are less optimistic. The BBC estimates that less than 2,500 Malayan Tapirs still roam across Southeast Asia. Furthermore, The Asean Post has stated that there will be a 50% decline in the next three generations of Malayan Tapir.
To stop this species from slipping through our fingers, Chester Zoo has reached a pivotal point in its conservation project. After a thirteen-month pregnancy, Margery has been able to give birth to the healthy Nessa, weighing in at 9 kilograms. Nessa’s patterned coat will gradually be shed to match the pattern of her mother’s (Margery) and father's (Betong) unique coats.
Mike Jordan, the ‘Director of Animals and Plants’ stated, “Margery’s precious calf is a highly significant new arrival who will add valuable new genetics to the European endangered species breeding program, which is working to ensure a safety net population of Malayan tapirs in conservation zoos like ours, guarding them against extinction.”
In conclusion, as the extinction rate of Mayan tapirs is increasing, conservation awareness is rising to avoid the death of this beautiful species. The Mayan Tapirs are protected under the Wildlife Act 2010, but this is not enough. In a rallying cry for change, Chester Zoo ensures its conservation and breeding programs are flourishing to secure the longevity of this species.
Image source: https://www.chesterzoo.org/news/rare-malayan-tapir-is-born-at-the-zoo/
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