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World and national tapir day is celebrated every year in late April and in Belize it is done in honor of Belize’s national animal. One of the main attractions of the Belize Zoo was that of the eldest female tapir in the country, named April. But sadly on Halloween night, Thursday, October 31, 2013, April passed away at the Belize Zoo.

April was the oldest female tapir in captivity and on April 27 of this year they celebrated April’s 30th birthday in grandeur, as they always do. The life span of a tapir is that of 25 – 30 years and sadly April passed away just six months after having turned 30. According to Founding Director of the Belize Zoo, Sharon Matola, April’s health deteriorated over some weeks and they made sure that she was comfortable.

“We did a great job keeping her comfortable during her last few weeks, but you get to a point where it is just time to go,” stated Sharon to local Belize City media. “At least it wasn’t a dreadful awful disease that took her in a snap. We saw what was happening; we were committed to keeping her comfortable. And if I could say the good news is that she died peacefully in her sleep.”

The tapir is the national animal of Belize and April was an iconic figure that will be sadly missed by all. According to the Belize Zoo directors and staff, her legacy will live on at the Zoo, Belize, and beyond, as a cultural icon and symbol of wildlife conservation and education. Rest in peace, April, we will miss you.

Belize’s Iconic April the Tapir Dies at 30

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