Wednesday, April 18, 2007

ZOO CONTEST: Tapir Diagnosed with Pneumonia; Tapir Naming Contest Delayed

Zoo New England announced today (April 18) that its baby Baird’s tapir has been diagnosed with pneumonia and is being aggressively treated with antibiotics. Pneumonia is one of the most common concerns with newborn hoofstock.
“While this is a very serious illness, we are aggressively treating the baby with antibiotic therapy and hope to see improvement within the next three to four days,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Associate Veterinarian, Zoo New England.
The baby was born March 16, to Milton, a 16-year-old male, and Abby, a 3-year-old female.
More than 1,200 entries were received in a Zoo-sponsored contest to name the baby, which was also posted on this blog.
The name was scheduled to be announced today, but has been delayed given the circumstances.
“We are very excited about this birth, but are concerned about the illness. He is receiving top-notch medical care from our staff but, just as in the wild, there are heightened risks with young animals,” said John Linehan, President and CEO, Zoo New England. “Abby has proven to be a great mother, but neo-natal mortality is always a concern.”
Baird’s tapirs are considered endangered in the wild. While they are hunted for food and sport, their greatest threat to survival is habitat destruction due to logging and clearing of land for agriculture and development. Tapirs are the largest land mammals found in Latin America.

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