The first time I ever saw a tapir, I was a 3-year-old boy living in Panama.  I still have the pictures of that tapir, and I can tell you it wasn't nearly as adorable as the new arrival at Ellen Trout Zoo.
Officials at the Ellen Trout Zoo took to their Facebook page to make the grand announcement and to post pictures. A male Malayan tapir calf was born to proud parents Tembikai and Cool. Ellen Trout Zoo teased the announcement on Thursday, but decided to make the grand reveal today (August 6) on Tembikai's 5th birthday!
His keepers at the zoo have named him Pertama (sounds like Bahama), which means "first" in Malay. He is the first calf for this pair at our zoo. He is a wonderful addition to the endangered Malayan tapir population.
Pertama and Tembikai may be able to be seen from the visitor pathway beginning today. As he gets older, you will be able to catch a glimpse of him easier. He currently  weighs about 25 pounds and will spend the majority of his day staying close to mom.
As you can see by the photos, tapirs are born with striping and spots to help them camouflage in the wild and hide from predators. The zookeepers at Ellen Trout think the new arrival looks a little bit like a watermelon. As Pertama grows, he will lose his spots and stripes.
The folks at Ellen Trout Zoo would love it if you could celebrate Pertama's arrival by visiting the zoo soon.  Ellen Trout Zoo is located at 402 Zoo Circle off the north loop in Lufkin.

New arrival at Ellen Trout Zoo


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