Happy Birthday Kingut!

Kingut is Europe’s oldest Malayan tapir and celebrated his 39th birthday on Friday 27th January 2017.


This year, Kingut celebrated this milestone birthday in style. He was spoilt with plenty of his favourite foods, particularly apples, bananas and carrots.


In 1978, Kingut was born in captivity to wild born parents at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta.  He came to Howletts in July 1992 and was later transferred to Port Lympne Reserve in 2008. Kingut is still energetic, despite his impressive age (the wild Maylan Tapir only lives to 12 years on average) – although it takes him a little while to get up and he’s not as fast as he used to be in his youth, naturally.


Kingut weights 271 kilograms, is a real character and very animated. It’s no surprise that he is a favourite with the Hoofstock Team and he loves their attention – Joel Bunce, Head of Hoofstock Section said: ‘He loves being the centre of attention and really enjoys back rubs from the team.  We’ll be making an extra special fuss of him on his birthday and I’m sure he will love his special cake.’


Malayan Tapir facts

The Malayan tapir is the largest of the five species of tapir as well as the only one native to Asia, recognisable by their distinctive black and white markings. They are classified as endangered in the wild due to the destruction of the rainforest, to make way for palm oil plantations and hunting of the species has also had a major effect on their numbers.



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