WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A local zoo creature who wound his way into animal lovers' hearts is on a mission to find his own love.
The famous Timmy the Tapir at the Palm Beach Zoo is being shipped out to meet his match.
It started when he was born at the Palm Beach Zoo, and his mother abandoned him.
He was hand fed by zookeepers every day. They even taught him how to swim! Then he started acting strangely.
Sarah Colman, the lead keeper at the Palm Beach Zoo describes his behavior. "He was unexpectedly falling over often and earned him the name Timmy the Tipping Tapir, " she said.
He underwent extensive medical treatment.
Colman says, "He had to have an entire series of MRIs done. We were afraid he had brain damage. It turned out that was not the case, he had some infections [double ear infection], he got some antibiotic treatment and it's cleared up and he's completely healthy today."
Not only is he healthy but grown up.
Elizabeth Andersen is the Zoological Manager at the zoo. "There comes a time in every tapir's life where they must move on and find a mate and make babies and that time has come for Timmy," she said.
His mate Tessa is also a Floridian from the Brevard Zoo. But, she's now pursuing fame and fortune in LA at the Los Angeles Zoo.
Now Timmy is shipping off from coast to coast to meet his match.
So, how do you ship a 400-pound tapir across the country when he absolutely, positively has to be there?
FEDEX of course! There is a specialized crate that Timmy's going to call home for his 15 hour journey across the county. It's 6 feet by 3 feet by 4 feet and it's going to have food and water and everything to make him comfortable for his trip.
Timmy will leave first thing Friday morning.
He will be kept in quarantine for 30 days upon his arrival to Los Angeles.
You can still see Timmy's parents, Spencer and Alyssa, on exhibit at the Palm Beach Zoo.