Two Malayan Tapirs set for 10-year 'honeymoon' in Japan

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 Oct 2015

File pic of Malayan Tapir

PUTRAJAYA: Two Malayan Tapirs are about to embark on a journey of their lives to Japan for a ten-year “honeymoon.” 

‘Im’, a two-year-old male tapir and his partner, a three-year-old female called ‘Bertam’, will be placed at the world-class Nagasaki Bio Park for ten years under a tapir conservation programme by Malaysia and Japan. 

“Under this agreement, the two tapirs will be put under the care of the Nagasaki Bio Park. 

“Besides becoming a zoo attraction, the tapirs will also provide more insight to the research on tapir conservation as well as wildlife captive breeding,” said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on Tuesday. 

He was speaking after witnessing the signing ceremony of the agreement on the conservation programme, involving the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) and Nagasaki Bio Park. 

Im and Bertam are from the Sungai Dusun Wildlife Conservation Centre and are expected to depart for Japan by the end of the month. 

The Nagasaki Bio Park, which has also received other animals from Perhilitan such as otters in the past, will fully bear the costs of caring for the animal, logistics as well as the training of its handlers. 

Dr Wan Junaidi said the collaboration with the bio park will also allow the ministry to learn more on zoo and park management from their Japanese counterparts. 

“We will be sending two officers every year to be based at the park and they will be trained on zoo and park management,” said the minister, adding that the collaboration will also strengthen ties between Malaysia and Japan. 

Nagasaki Bio Park director Satoshi Yamaguchi, who signed the agreement, said the park’s inception in 1980, its concept had always been to promote “the coexistence of men and nature”. 

“In Nagasaki, our animals live freely in a natural environment which its very close to its original living condition. We try to establish an environment where the animals are willing to stay rather than trying to run away,” he said. 

Also present at the event was the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa. 

The Malayan Tapir is listed as a “totally protected species” under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and its population is estimated to be around 1,100 to 1,500 in Peninsular Malaysia.
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