Endangered Riverbanks Zoo Animal Gets a Mate
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - It's a match! The female Malayan tapir at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden now has a new mate.
Pulau, a 21-year-old tapir, has come all the way from Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas, to meet his new companion, 21-year-old Daniella.
The move is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Malayan Tapir Species Survival Plan to bolster the species' endangered population.
"Tapir populations in the wild are threatened and decreasing," said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, in a statement. "Without the conservation efforts of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums like Riverbanks, these animals would have a much greater risk of extinction."
Officials say Malayan tapirs inhabit the rainforests of Southeast Asia, where hunting and habitat loss has threatened the population.
Often mistaken for pigs or anteaters because of their elongated snouts, tapirs are most closely related to horses and rhinos.
The species is also said to be mostly solitary, so let's hope the two hit it off quickly!