Adorable pictures show a rare newborn Malayan tapir snuggling up to her mum at Chester Zoo

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Nessa arrived to parents Margery and Betong after a 13-month-long pregnancy.

Chester Zoo are celebrating the birth of a rare Malayan tapir, a species related to both the horse and the rhinoceros.

The female calf, named Nessa, arrived to parents Margery and Betong, weighing just 9kg, after a 13-month-long pregnancy.

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One of just two British zoos currently caring for the Malayan tapir, Chester Zoo aims to ‘guard’ the black and white animals from extinction, as they are currently listed as endangered on the International Union of Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Species.

Fewer than 2,500 are estimated to remain across Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand and Myanmar, with hunting, illegal logging and mass deforestation blamed for a decline in numbers. In the last 40 years, more than half of the world’s Malayan tapirs have been lost, and the birth of Nessa is ‘highly significant’ to the conservation of the species.

Chester Zoo is part of a European breeding programme and in recent months has welcome the birth of a rare rhino, endangered giraffe and the world’s largest chameleon.

What has been said?

Director of Animal and Plants at the zoo, Mike Jordan said: “We’re over the moon that Margery has delivered a healthy female calf – a birth that marks an important moment in our efforts to prevent the extinction of this wonderfully charismatic but sadly endangered species.

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Rosie Owen, a keeper at Chester Zoo, added: “It’s so lovely to once again hear the pitter-patter of tiny, spotty and stripy Malayan tapir feet. They’re really special animals, a highly endangered species and very few zoos in the whole of Britain care for them, so it’s fair to say that Nessa’s arrival has put huge smiles on all of our faces.

Nessa was born following a 13-month pregnancy. Image: Chester Zoo.Nessa was born following a 13-month pregnancy. Image: Chester Zoo.
Nessa was born following a 13-month pregnancy. Image: Chester Zoo. | Chester Zoo

“Mum Margery is ever so good with her calf. Nessa is a real bundle of energy, confident and is often looking to explore but Marge is extremely attentive and always retains a watchful eye on her. The pair of them doing really, really well together.”

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