Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tara Tapir - Live Tapir Cam

Tara tapir must be getting very close to giving birth now. She was breathing heavily last night, but today there's no new calf. She certainly looks ready. You might like to check in with the tapir cam link above and read some of the viewer comments beneath the text, too. Toby is also a favorite and it's fun to watch the two of them. They get along famously.

I printed a new URL the other day, but they've switched back to the one above. I also like looking at their other cams (not all animals, thought mosltly in the UK time zone):

There are several pages of cams to choose from.


Elisabeth said...

wow, all those comments.. lots of people are watching this.. i thought, i was one of very few tapir fans :)

tapirgal said...

Tapir fans are still a small elite (yes, we know we are special, because tapirs are special)! The UK has a proportionally large group of tapir fans, and I think it's because your islands have kept tapirs for so many generations that many people have come to love them through zoo visits. I's fun reading the comments. A lot of people do care about Toby and Tara!

tapirgal said...

Elisabeth, I didn't mean to imply you are from the UK, but I've noted that some of the countries with the most tapir fans proportionally are Germany and the UK and the Netherlands and possibly France, although I hear less often from French tapir fans. When you look at the history, these are the main places that have kept larger numbers of tapirs in zoos over the years back into the 1800s and in France even earlier. Over that time, people in these countries have learned to love tapirs or at least know what they are. Some of the other countries are just catching up!

Elisabeth said...

i don't even know how i came to like tapirs so much.. i've known about them for a long time (i played a lot with plastic animals as a kid, and i have a very anatomically incorrect, but recognizable toy tapir sitting on my shelf)
i visit lots of zoos actually, and most germans call the tapirs "anteaters" before checking the signs:
kid calling back to parents: "look, it's an anteater" - (parents from far) "what?" - (kid checks sign) "look, it's a tapir"..
but i've seen a mother telling her child that the rhea they watched was called a capybara.. so that seems to be a general problem.

tapirgal said...

Elisabeth, that's so cool about the Stanley shirt! Thank you :) I think you're onto something about the toys, too. In Germany and the UK, kids have enjoyed playing with zoo toys for many years. I don't know how it is in other countries. We had zoo toys in the US many years ago, too, when I was young, but I don't remember seeing a tapir toy. I was lucky to live near two good zoos (L.A.and San Diego), so I saw tapirs when I was young. We have the same problem in the US that tapirs are most often called "anteaters." My German friend, Stefan Seitz, did his PhD dissertation on the ways zoo visitor misidentify tapirs, and also he studied what zoos could do to help the public see the tapirs more easily (so often they are asleep out of sight), etc. I once heard mountain tapirs called "bears," and tapirs are often called "pigs" or "ugly pigs." !!! I think it's the same in every country. The good news is that with more people online and more nature programs and interest by teachers, things are starting to improve. Parents and kids both come into our gift shop and know what a tapir is! Last time I was at the zoo, I heard a mother told her children to look at the "beautiful tapir." I thought this was so great!

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