Over winter the skin of Tiquie the Brazillian tapir at Taronga Zoo has a habit of becoming dry. As such keepers are engaging her in a daily pampering session which keeps the hair and her skin healthy.
Tiquies keeper Nat Dunn said, “Although Tapirs are normally solitary and quite elusive in the wild, Tiquie loves the interaction of the grooming sessions. She’ll close her eyes and tilt her head back when we’re rubbing the oil onto her skin and often roll onto her back for a tummy tickle.”
This week she got a hand’s on health check along with her grooming. Dilute QV oil was rubbed into the skin and keepers also brushed her wiry mane.
Dunn added that, “We also brush her hair and skin to bring out its natural oils and because of her relaxed nature; we’re able to perform a hands-on health check of her feet, ears, eyes and body.”
While keepers are brushing the tapir they also take the opportunity to educate visitors on what the tapir is challenged by in the wild.
They are being hunted so people can collect their skins, eat their food and even just for sport. The jungles of South America where they make their home are also threatened for agriculture and logging.
Taronga Zoo helps to save them by supporting the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative. They promote research and conservation of these animals.
They also sent keeper Justine Powell over to the Pantanal to assist with monitoring populations of this species last year.
Photo credit: Paul Fahy/ Taronga Zoo