Our strong little girl Arya has fought some tough battles since she first arrived here, but after a couple of months of stellar health and body condition, she is ready for her next step of release. Arya was brought to GSE for rehabilitation and release and was supposed to be about five months old. She arrived and was much closer to two months old. We learned upon her arrival that the people who had her were only feeding her cow’s milk and she hadn’t defecated in 10 days. We thought we were receiving a tapir who would be put outside to acclimate, but she ended up needing to be brought inside, medicated, given fluids and kept warm. She slept in the spare room for about a week, then for another week would spend the days out with Sheldon (the other tapir that arrived at the same time as her) and come in during the chilly nights.
Arya has shown how strong she was throughout everything. She could barely stand when she arrived, but turned into this tank of a girl that was tough and feisty as could be- it’s fantastic. Unfortunately, due to her malnourishment issues when she was young, she still struggled with GI issues and respiratory issues for months after she was stable. Throughout this time Arya and Sheldon bonded and became very attached. Although Sheldon was ready for the next step in release a few months ago, we didn’t want to separate them, so he stayed. As an example of how bonded they were, we would separate them at meals to be able to monitor what Arya was eating and when we would return to open between them, they would be lying on opposite sides of the divider gate sleeping and touching through the fence.
After numerous treatments, building up her immune system and a lot of medical care, Arya has shown herself to be ready for the next step. For the past few months she has not had a single issue and it’s time for both tapirs to move on. We will be releasing Arya and Sheldon into the next area, which is a wild space, 1-acre fenced in area. This will allow us to continue to monitor her health from a distance while they acclimate to what life is like on the other side of the fence. This area offers plenty of natural forage for them as we slowly wean them off of the supplemental diet they have been on. There is no set time period for this stage of release, it depends on how quickly they adapt.
The stage after that is opening the gate of the new area into the outside world. We will continue to leave the gate open, allowing them to return to a safe space if they feel it is needed. They are the ones who will determine how this all goes. There are numerous tapir tracks all around the property and our 2800-acres has amazing and compassionate neighbors on both sides, so this is about as safe of a space as they could possibly be released into.
The video is Arya swimming in her pool in the smaller area- they have not yet been given access to the bigger area. For those who may want to ask or who silently wonder, the pond is clean, the brown color is from the leaves that fall in-this starts within hours of it being emptied, scrubbed and refilled. The green stuff, well that’s a touch on the grosser side, it’s all frog eggs. Everyone seems to love that pool.