Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 14:42 UK

Zoo shows off latest rare birth

Baby tapir
Indah, the Malayan tapir is just two weeks old.

Edinburgh Zoo has unveiled its latest arrival - a Malayan tapir, a second child for mother, Sayang.

Indah, whose name means "beautiful" in Malaysian, was born just two weeks ago.

The zoo said the birth was an important part of the worldwide breeding programme for the animal, which is an endangered species.

Last year the zoo celebrated the birth of their first ever Malayan tapir when Sayang gave birth to a boy named Vasan. Tapirs are related to horses.

Kathleen Standen, head of hoofstock at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "We are really pleased that our breeding pair of Malayan tapirs has produced their second calf to date, both mother and father are just five-years-old.

"Indah is a welcome addition both to the zoo and to the European endangered species programme."

Tapirs have an unusual appearance and their young are particularly distinctive.

Baby tapirs are born with a dark brown coat covered in white stripes and spots.

After six months they develop their adult coats, with one half black and the other half white.

They have long flexible noses used to forage for food.

Malayan tapirs are endangered due habitat loss and hunting. They are found in the forests of Malaysia, Thailand, Burma and Sumatra.


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