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Greenwich Zoo Welcomes Rare Tapir Baby

Squeak is named for the sound tapirs make to communicate.
Squeak is named for the sound tapirs make to communicate. Video Credit: LEO Zoological Conservation Center
Proud mom, Beep-Beep, cleans her newborn daughter, Squeak
Proud mom, Beep-Beep, cleans her newborn daughter, Squeak Photo Credit: LEO Zoological Conservation Center
Squeak, the tapir, is the newest addition to the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich.
Squeak, the tapir, is the newest addition to the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich. Photo Credit: LEO Zoological Conservation Center

GREENWICH, Conn. -- The Lionshare Educational Organization Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich is once again home to a rare animal after the birth of a baby Brazilian tapir, the center announced in a news release on Tuesday.

Squeak, named for the noise tapirs make to communicate, is a female Brazilian tapir and was born to parents Jetta and Beep-Beep.

The rare tapir once roamed North and South America, but is now endangered and limited to Central America and the tropical parts of South America.

Tapirs, which look a bit like a watermelon with legs, are cousins to the rhinoceros and are the largest mammal in South America. They are excellent swimmers, can run fairly fast and have a flexible snout that’s very similar to a mini elephant trunk.

This is the second tapir born at the center. Their first offspring went into a breeding program and is residing happily with a mate in Southwicks Zoo in Menden, Mass.

The LEO Zoo also celebrated the first-ever giraffe born in the state of Connecticut when Sandy Hope, a rare Rothschild giraffe, was born there in March .

LEOZCC is a nonprofit, accredited conservation center and offsite breeding facility specializing in species at risk and conservation based education programs.

The zoo is expecting further births this year, including two more giraffe, a hyena, a kangaroo and several primates.

The zoo is closed to the public and requires memberships and donations to the visit the animals .

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