You may remember a while back when the former resident tapir, Sassy, came through the sanctuary late at night with her new baby. Sassy is one of the 5 tapirs that we’ve successfully released through our wildlife rehabilitation program and she’s been in the wild for about 2 years.
Now that the baby tapir has grown, she has been seen at a distance, wandering around the sanctuary grounds, sometimes on her own and sometimes with Sassy not too far away. It’s not necessarily typical for them to get close to humans, although they are known as a species that can be somewhat approachable, but it’s likely that she knows from her mother that this is a safe place. Sassy was born fully wild, but was raised by humans so, though she has a healthy desire to be out on her own, she also visits the property on occasion – mostly for water during the dry season or for mangoes when they are ripe; we get lots of eager tapirs hanging around during mango season That’s not something we will encourage the young tapir (or anta, as they’re called in Portuguese) to do. In fact, this photograph was taken with the camera zoomed in as much as possible. This “little one,” who now likely weighs a couple hundred pounds, is not adapted to people, which is a good thing. But it was still an unexpected treat to see how she’s grown and know that she seems to be thriving as a young adult.
If you want to learn more about our wildlife rehabilitation and release program, click here: https://globalelephants.org/our-wildlife-rehab-release-program/