Baby Tapir Arrives Just in Time for Spring Opening at Southwick’s Zoo


MENDON – At just over two months old, a baby Brazilian Tapir named Tutula is the newest Southwick’s Zoo family addition. The female calf, born on January 4, 2023, after a 13-month gestation period, is easy to distinguish from the older herd members due to her striking spotted and striped coat. This unique coat acts as camouflage for the young tapirs in the wild and will slowly shed as she ages.

Brazilian Tapirs, also known as lowland Tapirs, are a large hoofed species from South America. The species resembles a cross between a pig and an elephant, but this primitive animal is more closely related to horses and rhinoceros. One of the species’ most notable features is its long fleshy nose. A tapir uses its flexible snout when reaching to grasp branches and leaves, it also may use its elephant-like nose as a snorkel to breathe while submerged in water.

Guests will have the opportunity to visit baby Tutula when the zoo reopens for the 2023 season. Southwick’s Zoo is scheduled to open by April 15, 2023, or sooner, weather permitting.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate upon arrival.

For more information on upcoming events or to plan your visit to Southwick’s Zoo, please visit