|Zookeeper III Jeremy Konwiser will attend Timmy during his travels|
Timmy, a sixteen-month-old 300-pound Baird’s tapir at the Palm Beach Zoo, is currently rehearsing for his cross-country move this Friday morning. Timmy “tipped” his way into animal lovers’ hearts, after his mother abandoned him, and he began inexplicably falling over.
Through extensive testing (MRI, CAT scan), Palm Beach Zoo medical staff determined Timmy suffered from a double ear infection. He is now completely cured, and ready for his big adventure!
Zookeepers practiced getting Timmy comfortable with his holding crate, by training him to go inside with plenty of his favorite treats. Early Friday morning, at approximately 4:00 a.m., his crate will be forklifted into a commercial van, in which he will be transported to the Fort Lauderdale International Airport for his 8:00 a.m. flight.
“We are ensuring Timmy’s safety and comfort during his move,” said Jan Steele, General Curator of the Palm Beach Zoo. “Timmy is an important part of the cooperative breeding program in the US for Brazilian Tapirs. Accredited zoos move animals around to make sure that we can maintain 90% genetic diversity in each species to help ensure that they don’t go extinct. Healthy zoo populations mean that they can be ambassadors for their wild cousins to help us teach our guests how they can affect conservation by making simple changes in their buying habits and behaviors.”
Once Timmy arrives in Los Angeles, he will undergo 30 days of quarantine, then he will become a part of the “Rainforest of the Americas” exhibit set to open later this year at the Los Angeles Zoo. After a few more months, he will meet his first girlfriend, also a Florida native, when she comes of age.
Jeremy Konwiser, Zookeeper III, will be attending Timmy along his transport route, along with Palm Beach Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Genevieve Dumonceaux. Konwiser is available for in-person or phone interviews, live or pre-recorded. Contact Angela Cruz Ledford, Media Relations Manager, to set up an interview with Konwiser.
To access a one-minute-long video for broadcast of Timmy walking around his exhibit on Thursday, a day ahead of his big journey, visit this Palm Beach Zoo YouTube link.
For more information on Timmy, visit here.