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Visitors can see Denver Zoo’s baby tapir swim around in exhibit

DENVER — Visitors at the Denver Zoo can now see the baby tapir in the Elephant Passage habitat.

(Photo: Denver Zoo)

The female Malayan tapir calf Umi was born May 6 to mother Rinny and father Benny.

“Umi remained away from public view until she learned how to swim and was comfortable to venture outside,” zoo officials said in a statement Thursday. “Umi is still staying close to mother Rinny.”

She’s got a lot of growing to do.

“Though they are most closely related to horses and rhinos, tapirs are similar in build to pigs, but significantly larger,” zoo officials said. “On average they weigh between 700 and 900 pounds.”

(Photo: Denver Zoo)

Umi is most active in the morning, then typically takes a nap and is active again later, officials said. She can be seen splashing around in the pool in the exhibit.

“They are excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in water,” officials said. “They can even use their flexible noses as snorkels.”

Umi is only the third birth of the endangered species at the zoo, according to officials.

“Once found throughout Southeast Asia, they now inhabit only the rainforests of the Indochinese peninsula and Sumatra,” officials stated.

There are fewer than 2,000 left in the wild.