Newborn tapir receives mouth to proboscis resuscitation

October 26, 2012 • 9:15 am

by Greg Mayer

Elephants are not the only mammals to have an elongated, flexible proboscis; so do elephant seals, saiga, and tapirs. The latter have long been favorite items of discussion here at WEIT, Jerry and I having debated the extent to which the spotted patterns of young tapirs are adaptive camouflage. I hope to get back to that discussion, but in the meantime, in the spirit of one good puggle deserves another, here’s a baby Malay tapir born at the Denver Zoo last month that needed help to start breathing.

According to the Zoo:

On September 3, Denver Zoo’s female tapir, Rinny, gave birth to calf, Dumadi, inside the rhino/tapir building of Toyota Elephant Passage, but was he was stuck and unresposive in his amniotic sac. After watching Rinny unsuccessfully attempt to free him, zookeepers safely separated mother and calf then freed the newborn from the sac and began providing mouth to snout rescue breaths and manually stimulated the baby for regular breathing and in order to expel liquid from his lungs. After a few minutes of rescue efforts, the infant successfully began to breathe on his own.

The above, short clip is from ITN. The next video, from the Zoo’s Youtube channel, also shows the birth and the  post-resuscitation Dumadi swimming and walking around. Note the strong contrast between the dappled stripe and spot pattern of the baby, and the particolored adult.

4 thoughts on “Newborn tapir receives mouth to proboscis resuscitation

  1. Mouth-to-nose is a useful trick to remember for humans too. You can get a better seal (in my experience), allowing better inflation and less fatigue for the rescuer. Plus, of course, when the victim vomits, it’s slightly less distracting for the rescuer. I really wish I didn’t find that out for myself. One of the more unpleasant hours of my life.
    That colouration change is remarkable.

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