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Two rare tapirs born in Sweden in one week

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Two rare tapirs born in Sweden in one week
Photo: Parken Zoo
17:33 CEST+02:00
Sweden has laid claim to a rare animal sensation this week: the birth of two tapirs at different zoos, a male and female respectively, out of about only 30 around the world in captivity annually.

Öland Zoo in southeastern Sweden proudly showed off its female baby tapir foal on Monday that was born 10 days ago on July 9th. Two out of three tapirs that are born are male, so her arrival is doubly unique, Sveriges Radio Kalmar reported.

She has not yet been named, but the young male tapir that was born five days later at Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna west of Stockholm was named after Prince Daniel because he was born on Crown Princess Victoria's birthday on July 14th.

"It is almost as if one believes in marriage," laughed zoo director Helena Olsson at Parken Zoo.

In the tapir world, the futures of these new arrivals when they reach sexual maturity in two years is at least as well planned as any princess' wedding. The pair of tapirs have not yet been engaged by the zoos, however.

The endangered lowland tapirs live in rainforests and river basins in Central and South America, areas shrinking due to human destruction. Zoos around the world are engaging in survival projects to protect them and it is important to pair up the right tapirs.

"There is a coordinator who works with figuring out which ones fit together, so you do not know if it will be Öland or Madrid for Daniel," Olsson added.

Daniel's arrival followed a mini-baby boom of another endangered species at the park earlier in the week, when a rare Visayan warty pig gave birth to four piglets instead of the usual two to three. There are only about 100 remaining that live in the wild on two of the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines.

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