Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This rare albino tapir calf that was abandoned by its mother has been rescued by a resident in Brazil.
The calf was found by a resident in the neighbourhood of Ribeirao Bonito in the Brazilian municipality of Piedade on 23rd November.
The location where the albino calf was found forms part of the buffer zone of the Jurupara State Park, a protected area of over 26,250 hectares (64,866 acres) that is home to 94 different species of mammals.
Workers from the local council were called to the scene and they took the calf to a zoo in the nearby municipality of Sorocaba where it is currently being cared for.
The female calf was only around 10 days old when it was rescued. It was reportedly abandoned by its mother and was “very weak, thin, and dehydrated “, according to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability (SEMA) which manages the Sorocaba Zoo.
The zoo’s veterinary team said the animal weighed just nine kilogrammes (20 lbs).
A SEMA spokesperson told local media: “The calf is receiving all the necessary care, such as hydration, heating and learning to feed from a bottle.
“It will remain under the care of the technical team in the Veterinary and Biology Sector of the zoo. She is being bottle fed with goat’s milk.”
Environment coordinator Natan Gabriel, 25, was called to the scene to rescue the calf. He told Newsflash: “It was exciting, a unique moment in Piedade’s history as it is the first ever recorded albino tapir calf.”
Previous sightings of albino tapirs have all been adults. The last recorded appearance of an albino tapir occurred in 2016, and the first in 2014.
Gabriel told Newsflash: “I was very happy to be part of the process to protect and help such a rare animal. This rescue is a positive sign and shows that the buffer zone region of Jurupara State Park is still preserved.”
As to when the calf will be able to leave the zoo, Gabriel told Newsflash: “We still don’t know, everything will depend on how it develops. It’s very difficult right now to know how the story ends.”
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