Zookeepers at Chester Zoo are celebrating the arrival of Zathras – the first male tapir to be born at the zoo in eight years.

The tiny calf was born on August 4 after a gestation period of 13 months.

Tapirs originate from South America and live in wet forests and grasslands, but are classed as vulnerable to extinction because of habitat destruction and hunting.

Curator of mammals Tim Rowlands said:

 “Zathras was up and about really quickly and he and mum are doing fine. Jenny is an experienced mum and doing a top job.

“At the moment Zathras looks a bit like a little humbug. His brown coat features lots of white stripes and spots, which will eventually disappear as he gets to around six to to nine months old.

“The markings act as camouflage in the wild – mimicking speckled sunlight on the forest floor. He won’t be little for long though as new youngsters tend to double their weight in the first 14 to 21 days alone.”

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