Newly added to our TBZ Tapir Squad and ready to come and meet his visitors is Tambo the Tapir! Less than 2 years old, Tambo comes to us from near the village of Los Tambos. When he was still a baby mountain cow, Tambo's mother was shot.
And what was the fate of the baby tapir? The same hunter tried to sell him for a pet. The Belize Zoo found out about this, the Forest Department joined in the "rescue", and the little guy found his way to the Zoo. Tambo found his home to be off exhibit, with a young, super energetic Otter for a neighbor. There, he was lovingly kept and enjoyed a great deal of tender loving care; bottle fed and visited by all the Zoo staff, Tambo enjoyed his safe, new life. Mountain cows grow to be large animals, and Tambo followed this guideline with ease and a “growing boy’s” appetite. As he grew, Zoo staff kept a photo diary of his growth, and decided that Tambo should someday move up to the Zoo.
And what better time to move the National Animal of Belize to his new on site Belize Zoo home, than during our country’s September celebrations?! With this in mind, TBZ staff loaded up Tambo in his travelling crate, and moved him to his 5 star Tapir accommodations, right next door to the rest of the Tapir squad. The moment the crate was opened, Tambo marched out and gave his mountain cow stamp of approval on his new home; tramping about happily inspecting every branch and stone and even taking a dip in his new pond!
A very important book is in the works, to further Tambo’s job as “Tapir Ambassador.” “Tambo the Tapir” will describe the sad story of his beginning life in Belize, and how vital it is to protect our nation's wildlife. The book will be widely distributed, and will join the Junior Buddy the Jaguar books and “Hoodwink the Owl” Series as being fun and educational reads for children of all ages. Hopefully, efforts both at the Zoo with on site education, and outreach education work will ensure no more tales like Tambo’s happen in the future. HAPPY SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS, BELIZE!