Baird’s Tapir Calf Born 8-29-15

Reid Park Zoo’s Baird’s tapir, Contessa, gave birth to a male calf on Saturday, August 29, at approximately 5:30 p.m. The calf appears healthy, is nursing regularly, and is becoming more active every day. He has not been named yet. Contessa and the calf will remain behind-the-scenes for several weeks to gain strength, and to bond with minimal stress. Although the calf will not be on exhibit for several weeks, he does have access to an outdoor space behind the scenes. Check out this video to see highlights of the calf’s first three days!


This tapir calf’s delivery was highly anticipated. Contessa’s pregnancy lasted approximately 13 months, and she was monitored closely by veterinary staff and Zoo Keepers. She received regular ultrasounds and physical exams throughout her pregnancy.

Contessa came to Reid Park Zoo specifically to breed with the Zoo’s male, Tupi, as part of a Species Survival Plan®, making this a significant birth for the captive population. Reid Park Zoo works in partnership with other facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to cooperatively manage threatened or endangered species; this birth demonstratesthe Zoo’s strong commitment to the conservation of wildlife. The goal of responsible breeding is to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically stable group of animals. Baird’s tapirs are endangered because of hunting, habitat destruction, and increasing human population.