American Elephants

Wednesday Morning Cute by The Elephant's Child

The Denver Zoo is celebrating the birth of an endangered Malayan Tapir calf. He is named Baku, and he was born on April 29. Baku is the Japanese word for tapir. Baku are also supernatural spirits in Chinese and Japanese folklore who take away children’s nightmares and protect against evil.

Tapirs are most closely related to horses and rhinos, but they are similar in build to pigs. An adult stands more than 3 feet tall and can be 6 to 8 feet in length. An adult has coloration similar to an Oreo cookie with black front and back and a white or grey midsection. The young’s spots help them blend into dappled sunlight and leaf shadow of the forest which protects them from predators.


The Malaysian tapirs are the largest of the four tapir species. They weigh between 700 and 900 pounds. They are excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in water.They can even use their flexible noses as snorkels!

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The tapir has no manners,
He picks food with his nose.
He swims and stomps the moonlit swamps,
With stubby little toes.

— Paul Hess

Comment by Subsidy Eye

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