Summit Up 11-6-10: Celebrating the Maylaysian tapir |

Summit Up 11-6-10: Celebrating the Maylaysian tapir

by Summit Up
Denver Zoo/Dave Parsons

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that can’t say enough about the wonderful tapir. We get frequent e-mails from the Denver Zoo, but nothing got us more fired up than this one telling us about a new female tapir they have now at the zoo.

Just look at this thing! It’s the ultimate animal mash-up: It looks like someone took parts of a rhino, a pig, an anteater, an elephant and a Brown Barba-a-Loot – with maybe a touch of Karl Rove – to create this critter. Then they went ahead and made it this Oreo-like color pattern of black-and-white and voila! You’ve got a critter that looks like a punchline, the most curious combination of goofy and

elegant we’ve ever seen.

MILLIONS OF SUMMIT UP READERS: Is this for real? Where do these things live?

SU: Well, this one here is a 3-year-old female named Rinny, and she’s a Malaysian tapir so, y’know, from Malaysia over there by Paraguay.

MSUR: Southeast Asia, you mean?

SU: Yes, exactly. Here’s what the good folks at the Denver Zoo have to say about this critter:

“Though they are most closely related to horses and rhinos, tapirs are similar in build to pigs, but significantly larger. Malayan tapirs have a large, barrel shaped body ideal for crashing through dense forest vegetation. Their noses and upper lips are extended to form a long prehensile snout similar to a stubby version of an elephant’s trunk. Malayan tapirs are the largest of the four tapir species. They stand more than 3 feet tall and can stretch from between 6 to 8-feet-long. They can also weigh more than 1,100 pounds. Rinny currently weighs about 875 pounds. They are also excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in water. They can even use their flexible noses as snorkels!

“Malayan tapirs have a distinctive color pattern that some people say resembles an Oreo cookie, black front and back parts separated by a white or gray midsection. This provides excellent camouflage that breaks up the tapir’s outline in the shadows of the forest. Young tapirs have spots and stripes which help them blend into the dappled sunlight and leaf shadows of the forest and protect them from predators.”

Who knew? Ain’t evolution a wonderful thing? Here’s a little more:

“Malayan tapirs are the only tapir native to Asia. Once found throughout Southeast Asia, they now inhabit only the rainforests of the Indochinese peninsula and Sumatra. With a wild population of less than 4,000 individuals they are classified as endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) due to habitat loss and hunting.”

If you’d like to visit Renny or the zoo’s other tapir, Benny, get on down there and look for the pachyderm building. But please, no anteater jokes! You can find out more at


We’ve all heard of dialing while drunk (the phenomenon dreaded by ex-girl- and boyfriends everywhere), but did you know there’s an issue about Facebooking while drunk?


“Just in time for Thanksgiving vacations, holiday office parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations, an Internet security company and an advertising agency have teamed to launch a new free browser extension, The Social Media Sobriety Test. Designed as the ultimate ‘bad idea’ protector, The Social Media Sobriety Test aims to help stamp out posting under the influence — and let’s face it, anyone who imbibes, regularly or not, is susceptible to online ruin. The free download can be found at

The Social Media Sobriety Test is a keyboard/mouse-based social-media blocker that prevents “under-the-influence” posting on sites including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Tumblr, as well as custom URLs (like blogs) and/or web-based email accounts such as Gmail or Hotmail. Users can customize which sites they wish to block and at which hours of the night (and following day) are the most personally vulnerable. For access to their social media, the consumer has to pass one of a variety of randomly selected sobriety tests such as ‘drag your mouse in a straight line,’ ‘type the alphabet backwards,’ or ‘follow the finger.'”

Hmmm … maybe not a bad idea, but we also know the drunk dialer is generally a pretty determined species, and s/he would probably find a workaround here. But who knows.

Gotta run. Happy Saturday!

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