DENVER - Dobby, you have some competition in the cuteness department.
It’s time we introduce you to Umi, a Malayan tapir who was born at the Denver Zoo early Saturday morning. She’s only the third birth of her species at the zoo – and also the third for her proud parents, Rinny and Benny.
At this point, you might be wondering what a tapir is. The zoo says this species is similar in build to pigs, but significantly larger.
Malayan tapirs have a big, barrel-shaped body ideal for crashing through dense forest vegetation. They also have a snout similar to a stubby version of an elephant’s trunk.
When Umi grows up, she could be more than three feet tall, six to eight feet long and weigh between 700 to 900 pounds!
Despite their size, tapirs are excellent swimmers and spend most of their time in the water.
Malayan tapirs were once found throughout southeast Asia, but now only inhabit the Indochinese peninsula and Sumatra. There are fewer than 2,000 of them left in the wild – and they are considered endangered.
Umi is currently behind the scenes at the zoo’s Toyota Elephant Passage habitat. She’s doing well, and her keepers say her mom is doing a great job calmly making sure she is nursing successfully.
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