Tama was not just any Malayan Tapir. He was the very first Tapir to be born at the Ellen Trout Zoo.

He came into the world striped like a watermelon and was a favorite of all his caregivers. They watched him grow into an almost full-grown black and white Tapir, just like his parents.

Tama started having gastric issues on June 9th, 2022 and was being treated at the zoo by interim Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Lindsay Syler. He would get better and then the same issue would keep popping up. These recurring symptoms were also observed by the new Ellen Trout Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Jenna Rivals.

Zoo Doctors Make A Tough Decision About This Young Tapir

On Saturday, June 25th, 2022 Tama was displaying more serious symptoms and both doctors decided that surgery was necessary. Tapirs are closely related to horses, so it was decided that Tama would be taken to an equine specialist for the surgery.

During the course of the surgery, it was discovered that Tama was suffering from a perforated intestine. It was unlikely that Tama would have survived the surgery, and it was decided to humanely euthanize him to prevent any further suffering.

All of the zoo staff and especially his direct caregivers miss him very much and were deeply saddened by the loss of this very special little guy.

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He was born on July 26, 2021, and passed away about a month short of his first birthday on Saturday, June 25th, 2022.

Ellen Trout Zoo Hours Have Changed In Lufkin, Texas

If this reminds you just how precious your time really is with all of the animals at the zoo and you would like to make a visit, please note that their hours have recently changed.

The Ellen Trout Zoo opens at 9 am daily and closes at 5 pm with the last entry at 4:30 pm. The Small Animal Building, or as I like to call it "The Snake House", opens at 10 am.

Here are 14 Exotic Animals That You Can Own in Texas

Texas has an estimated 7.2 million dogs, more than any other state, this according to the American Veterinary Association. Safe to say, dogs are a Texan's best friend. But perhaps you’re interested in branching out a bit and adding a less common exotic pet to your home.

Granted a few of these exotics are regulated and will require permits.

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