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Alf the tapir fits in at Darling Downs Zoo

Alf the tapir is feeling right at home at Darling Downs Zoo.
Alf the tapir is feeling right at home at Darling Downs Zoo.

ALF has landed at the Darling Downs Zoo, but he's no alien life form.

Alf is a very unusual animal that looks like a cross between an elephant and a pig.

He is a Brazilian tapir (pronounced TAY-PIR) and is one of only six animals of this species left in Australia.

Alf is 25 years old and has lived at Western Plains Zoo and at Alma Park Zoo in Brisbane.

Darling Downs Zoo director Steve Robinson said when Alma Park closed earlier this year Alf was in some trouble.

"His health wasn't the best and there was nowhere left for him to go," Steve said.

"Fortunately for him, the Darling Downs Zoo took on the challenge of restoring him to good health and he is now well enough to be out on display.

"He has had a great time exploring his spacious new enclosure and will soon have a huge swimming pool to enjoy."

Alf is a vegetarian and munches his way through many kilos of fresh fruit and vegetables, special pellets, hay and chaff every day.

He loves a scratch and a tickle with his keepers but he isn't always socially acceptable as he also likes to wallow in the mud.

Tapirs originally came from the Brazilian rainforest, so on very sunny days you may have to look carefully to find Alf - either under his shade netting or resting in the shade of his stable.

Topics:  darling downs zoo


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