• Germany edition
 
Leipzig's baby tapir charms fans worldwide
Photo: DPA

Leipzig's baby tapir charms fans worldwide

Published: 12 Mar 2013 07:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Mar 2013 07:05 GMT+01:00

Zookeepers were delighted by the exotic new arrival and put out an appeal for names - but were overwhelmed by the more than 1,500 ideas which were sent in from across the globe.

Staff have filled the eastern German zoo's Facebook page with pictures of the little male tapir, attracting hundreds of comments and name suggestions.

Fewer tapirs are being born in captivity than ever before and in the wild they are being threatened with extinction, said zoo director Jörg Junhold.

The animals are most closely related to horses and rhinos, while their noses and upper lips form a prehensile snout a little like an elephant's nose. They communicate with high-pitched, screechy whistles and eat aquatic plants as well as fallen fruit.

Click for a gallery of the baby tapir

Possible names for the new Leipzig tapir include Tapsi, Flecki or Dot – inspired by the tapir baby's spotty fur which in around six month's time will give way to a darker, plain pelt.

But the change in the animal's colouring made it difficult to pick a name related to the early pattern said Junhold. “The name has to fit for the tapir's whole life,” he said. Leipzig zoo considers its animals to be ambassadors for their species in the wild, he added.

Tapirs originate in Southeast Asia, meaning that zoo staff may well opt for a more geographically appropriate name. Bintang, Malayan for star, or Tenuk, for tapir, are both also being considered.

Deadline for suggestions was initially March 18th but the zoo has extended it to March 27th, due to the excitement from tapir fans worldwide that the birth has generated.

“People are really making an effort, like researching the meaning of names on the internet,” said Junhold.

Leipzig zoo has been in the limelight since Heidi the cross-eyed possum became a celebrity in 2011, gaining fame for predicting that year's Oscar nominations. She died last year along with her sister and three others, signalling the end of the zoo's possum enclosure.

DPA/The Local/jcw

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:37 March 12, 2013 by marimay
He's cute. Wonder how long until they kill this one.
10:46 March 14, 2013 by raandy
Thats cold marimay, I wonder how much they will make off him before he dies. :-)
Today's headlines
Woodcarving champions - in pictures
Photo: DPA

Woodcarving champions - in pictures

Chainsaws, wood planes and sand paper were out over the weekend in Saxony-Anhalt where more than 30 artists competed in the International Woodcarving Championships. READ  

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor
Liberian health workers in protective clothing bury an Ebola victim in early July. Photo: DPA

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor

A World Health Organisation doctor infected with the deadly Ebola virus while trying to help stop it spreading through West Africa could travel to a Hamburg clinic for treatment. READ  

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya
Black smoke billowing from a storage depot of fuel that was hit by a rocket the night before near the airport in Tripoli on July 28th. Photo: EPA/SABRI ELMHEDWI

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya

UPDATE: Germany pulled its embassy staff out of Tripoli on Monday, a day after advising all its citizens currently in Libya to leave the strife-torn country immediately. READ  

Police kill fleeing drug dealer with bad shot
Photo: DPA

Police kill fleeing drug dealer with bad shot

A policeman is being investigated for manslaughter after he shot a fleeing man, wanted on drug charges, in the back of the head. The officer claimed he had aimed for his legs. READ  

Germany's students fail to graduate in time
A German student protests against the Bologna reforms in Mainz in 2010. Photo: DPA

Germany's students fail to graduate in time

Leaked figures show the average student in Germany still takes around four years to complete a bachelor's degree, suggesting controversial reforms to higher education have so far failed to cut down the number of Germany's perpetual students. READ  

Lawmakers earn millions on the side
Bavarian lawmaker Peter Gauweiler made almost €1 million on the side. Photo: DPA

Lawmakers earn millions on the side

A quarter of all politicians in the German Parliament are making additional income on top of their parliamentary salary, a transparency group said on Saturday. Thirteen lawmakers have made more than €100,000 in the last few months. READ  

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video
Schweinsteiger has apologized after the video of him on holiday was posted on YouTube. Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video

UPDATE: Germany’s World Cup winning star Bastian Schweinsteiger has apologized after a video emerged of him on YouTube leading a chant insulting Borussia Dortmund supporters and players. READ  

Sale stopped of oldest message in a bottle
Konrad Fischer with his find. Photo: DPA

Sale stopped of oldest message in a bottle

UPDATE: A fisherman who found the world's oldest message in a bottle tossed into the sea in northern Germany has failed in his attempt to sell it on eBay. The auction was stopped at the last minute. READ  

JobTalk Germany
Job seekers frustrated with application wait
Photo: DPA

Job seekers frustrated with application wait

A new YouGov survey shows job seekers in Germany are exasperated with the application process, complaining about poor job adverts and slow responses. Recruiters agree. READ  

Germany's biggest tabloid attacks Islam
Bild editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann said there was no room for such comments in Bild publications but stopped short of an apology. Photo: DPA

Germany's biggest tabloid attacks Islam

Germany's biggest newspaper, Bild, was forced to climb down over the weekend after a highly critical and controversial comment piece which attacked Islam as a barrier to integration appeared in its Sunday sister paper. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,219
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd