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Wednesday, 14th October 2015
In General Japan News,

2 Malayan tapirs to reside in Japanese ecopark

Two tapirs from Malaysia are to travel to Japan as part of a conservation programme that should help researchers to understand more about the animals.

In a fortnight, Im, a two-year old male, and Bertam, a three-year old female, will make the journey from the Malay Tapir Conservation Centre (MTCC) in Sungai Dusun, Selangor to Nagasaki Bio Park.

An agreement signed by representatives of the two countries means they will stay in the ecopark for ten years and experience an environment that is similar to their natural habitat.

It is hoped that the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (DWNP) and the Nagasaki Bio Park teams will both benefit from the initiative.

They will be able to collaborate on wildlife management, ecotourism, park management and breeding programme practices through working with the tapirs.

The Malayan tapir is the largest of the four tapir species that are still in existence in the world today and is identifiable due to its black and white colouration.

Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, natural resources and environment minister for Malaysia, told the Bernama news agency: "It is considered a habitat generalist, which means it has a wide distribution which includes peat swamps and lower montane forest."

He added that there are thought to be between 1,100 and 1,500 tapirs left in the wild.
Visitors to the Nagasaki Bio Park will be able to interact with the tapirs as they roam free in their new surroundings.

The animals are said to eat people's nightmares, making them an important symbol in Japanese mythology.