Denver Zoo welcomes baby tapir Umi

Posted at 1:02 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 15:02:40-04

DENVER – The Denver Zoo is celebrating the arrival of its newest resident – a baby Malayan tapir.

Umi – whose name means “life” in Malayan – was born to mom Rinny and dad Benny on May 6. Umi is just the third successful Malayan tapir birth at the zoo.

Staff say Rinny is a great mom to Umi, patiently making sure the young tapir is nursing.

The public won’t be able to see Umi for a while. She’ll stay behind the scenes with mom until she’s able to swim and is more comfortable venturing outside.

Malayan tapirs are the largest of the four tapir species and grow to more than three feet tall and six to eight feet long, with an average weight between 700 and 900 pounds. They’re great swimmers and spend much of their time in the water, using their prehensile snouts as snorkels.

Native to Southeast Asia, Malayan tapirs are found in the rainforests of the Indochinese peninsula and Sumatra. There are fewer than 2,000 Malayan tapirs in the wild and they are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.