Tucson Zoo's Newborn Tapir Calf Dies

January 17, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Reid Park Zoo officials say a male tapir calf born shortly after the start of the new year has died.

The zoo in Tucson announced that the male Baird's tapir died Wednesday afternoon while being treated for pneumonia. Zoo administrator Jason Jacobs said it is an extremely sad day for the Reid Park Zoo family. Jacobs said the calf experienced challenges in the days following his Jan. 4 birth. The calf, which had been named Franklin, was being hand-reared by zoo keepers after his mother failed to nurse him.

The Baird's tapir is an endangered species native to Mexico and Central America. While they sometimes mistaken for pigs or anteaters because of their trunk-like snout, they are more closely related to rhinos and horses.