WATCH: Fota welcomes birth of 'vulnerable' baby tapir and wants you to name it

Picture: Darragh Kane.

Fota wildlife have welcomed the birth of a baby Brazilian tapir and are seeking the public's help to name it.

The female tapir was born last month to mother Maya and father Basil, bringing the total number of tapirs to six at the South American habitat.

The now four-week-old tapir, which is part of the European Endangered species Programme (EEP), has brown hair with white stripes, allowing it to camouflage.

Brazilian tapirs are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and competition with livestock are one of four species of tapir in the world.

They can weigh up to 250kg and measure two metres in length. The name 'tapir' comes from the Brazilian word for 'thick', referring to its tough skin.

Lead ranger Aidan Rafferty said the County Cork Wildlife Park were thrilled at the new arrival: "The calf is settling in really well and is just content in following her mother around all day and they spend a lot of time calling back and forth to each other, although Basil, her father has been completely unimpressed about the birth and is paying very little attention to her.

Do you have a name for this baby tapir? Picture: Darragh Kane.
Do you have a name for this baby tapir? Picture: Darragh Kane.

"Her mother Maya and father Basil are the principal breeding pair here at Fota and came to the Park from Lodz Zoo in Poland and from Curraghs Wildlife Park on the Isle of Man respectively.”

Members of the public are being asked to help name the baby tapir over at www.fotawildlife.ie/blog and will be entered to win a year-long conservation annual pass to the park.

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