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Denver Zoo welcomes Rinny the tapir, the first new inhabitant of the Asian Tropics exhibit

Categories: News

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Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo
Rinny, the Denver Zoo's new tapir, looks like what happens when an elephant knocks boots with a pig, and then they have a baby and it's Halloween and they dress the baby like an Oreo.

But despite the fact that Rinny looks like a sandwich cookie, the zoo thinks she's beautiful and important, which is why they plan to put her up in their fanciest exhibit, Asian Tropics.

The exhibit is still under construction, but Rinny will have some interesting roommates when it's finished, including horny Indian rhinos, who actually have horns, and horny Asian elephants, who don't. Get it? It's a sex joke!

Curious about Rinny? Here's everything you need to know, courtesy of the zoo.

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Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo
Rinny is three years old. She came from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle to join the Denver Zoo's other tapir, four-year-old Benny. It's not clear yet whether they're dating. Give it time, we say. Give it time.

rinny_the_tapir_2.jpg
Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo
Malayan tapirs have a large, barrel shaped body ideal for crashing through dense forest vegetation. Their noses and upper lips are extended to form a long prehensile snout.

Malayan tapirs are the largest of the four tapir species. They stand more than three feet tall and can stretch from between six to eight feet long. They can also weigh more than 1,100 pounds. Rinny currently weighs about 875 pounds.

They are also excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in water. They can even use their flexible noses as snorkels!

rinny_the_tapir_3.jpg
Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo
Malayan tapirs are the only tapir native to Asia. Once found throughout Southeast Asia, they now inhabit only the rainforests of the Indochinese peninsula and Sumatra. With a wild population of less than 4,000 individuals, they are classified as endangered by the World Conservation Union due to habitat loss and hunting.

More from our News archive: "Denver Zoo's new animal babies: Four itty-bitty komodo dragons with teeth that could kill you."

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