Meet Rony, An Incredibly Rare And Adorable Malayan Tapir (8 Pics)

Meet Rony, a critically endangered Malayan tapir who was born at Chester Zoo after 13 months in the making.

There are only around 3,000 Malayan tapirs, who are related to both the horse and the rhino, left in the world

Rony, who was named via a public vote, was born to proud parents Margery and Betong after a whopping 391-day pregnancy.

His birth was hailed by conservationists all over the world due to the species status on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Species.

In the last 40 years, we have lost half of the worlds Malayan tapir population. Mainly due to hunting, mass deforestation and illegal logging.

Rony was born after a 13-month pregnancy (Image: Chester Zoo)

Sarah Roffe, team manager, said: “It’s wonderful to hear the pitter-patter of tiny, spotty Malayan tapir feet again for only the second time ever in the zoo’s long history.

“Mum Margery is ever so good with the baby. She’s very attentive but also gives him chance to explore and find his feet.

“The precious calf is another big boost for the international breeding programme, which is working to ensure the already endangered species do not become extinct.

“In the wild, the Malayan tapir population has crashed in recent times, largely due to the wide-spread conversion of their forest habitat to palm oil plantations.

There are only thought to be 2,500 Malayan tapirs left in the world (Image: Chester Zoo)

“If people want to help this wonderful species then we’d urge them to demand that the palm oil contained in the products they use is from sustainable sources.”

When tapirs are born, they come with a very distinctive coat which is a mix of spots and stripes, with the main purpose of camouflage.

Over the first six months of their life, the pattern will slowly change to the same stunning black and white pattern you see on their parents.

This pattern will slowly change over the first six months to the unique black and white pattern of their parents.

Here’s an adorable video of a baby Malayan tapir taking its first steps outside:

The Malayan tapir is also an ‘odd-toed’ hooved animals, which means it has four toes on each front foot and three on each back foot.

Written by Joe Kahlo

After years of writing in the financial industry, Joe was finally able to focus his writing on what he loves, Animals!