Nemo set to depart for new home

Nemo, the Malayan tapir, will leave Hellabrunn Zoo in the coming days. His new home will be at the Arcachon Bay Zoo in La Teste-de-Buch in France, where he will share an enclosure with a female Tapir.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Michael Matziol

Nemo, the Malayan tapir, will depart from Hellabrunn Zoo this month. He will be heading for a new home at Arcachon Bay Zoo in France. There, the 22-year-old will be a companion – though somewhat older - to the female Malayan tapir Nurr. At Hellabrunn, Nemo spent most of his life with the female Cora. However after her unfortunate passing in December 2016, it is good that Nemo will now have a new female companion, with whom he can live together in a new, comfortable enclosure. The transfer comes at the recommendation of the co-ordinator of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for the Malayan tapir.

Native to Southeast Asia, the Malayan tapir can easily be identified by their exotic black and white coat pattern: the front part of the body until just after the forelegs is black, while the back and rump are covered with a white “saddle” patch. This colouration serves as a camouflage making it more difficult to recognise the animal's outline as a tapir in the forest. Malayan tapir are strict vegetarians. They love swimming and can use their flexible snout like a snorkel. Malayan tapir are classified as odd-toed ungulates with four toes on the front feet and three toes on the back feet.

Due to deforestation and poaching in their natural habitat, the Malayan tapir is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Today there are less than 2,500 individuals remaining in the wild.

The tapir enclosure at Hellabrunn Zoo needs to be upgraded to meet the current requirements for tapir keeping. The zoo has therefore decided not to keep any tapirs until a suitable facility has been completed in accordance with the Master Plan. Under the plan, the zoo will instead keep South American tapirs in future. These will live in a large zoogeographic community with other South American animals.