Palm Beach Zoo sends baby tapir for battery of extensive medical tests

WEST PALM BEACH , Fla. - Palm Beach Zoo is taking one of its animals to a veterinary neurologist this week to diagnose a medical condition believed to have been around since birth, the zoo said in a news release.

At nearly a year old, Timmy the Baird's tapir was the first Baird's tapir to be born at the Palm Beach Zoo on March 31, 2012.

Zookeepers hand raised him because Timmy's mother did not demonstrate good maternal behaviors. Since his birth, keepers have been watching him closely. Over the past several  months, they've witnessed Timmy fall at times but exams never revealed any problems.

However, last week a Palm Beach Zoo Clinical Veterinarian saw Timmy have his worst episode to date.

More extensive testing was immediately ordered.

The tests include a CAT scan and MRI. Previous evaluation has been able to determine that there is an unstable area between the tapir's skull and first two vertebrae which has progressively gotten worse over time.

The zoo hopes it can extend Timmy's life by taking the tapir to a specialist.

For more information on Timmy please click here.

This story was updated to clarify that no surgery has been scheduled for Timmy.

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