Since my last picture book, Every Whale, I have been looking closer at relationships in the animal kingdom, in particular the familial bond between parent and child. more often than not the closest bonds in mature tend to be between mother and baby and males of the species often mate with numerous mothers for the good of the species.
My aim with these illustrations is to create a series of prints, each showcasing a different mother with their young. For each print I will write a blog post about their relationship to both encourage me to learn more about each species and to also encourage me to write more on my blog which i am enjoying so much more now that I have changed up my website!
The first in this series is the Malayan tapir.
Malayan tapirs are the largest of five species of tapir and they are native to Asia. They are currently endangered with less than 1,700 of them left in the wild. Fully grown, this species can reach 2.5 meters in length with a lifespan of around 30 years. Tapir calves have an incredibly close relationship with their mothers and stay by their side for up to three years until they are ready to survive on their own. The calves can get quite playful as as they get older and brave enough to explore on their own but they still rarely leave their mother’s sight.
Habitat loss is one of the main threats to this species as they rely on rich rainforests and vegetation to survive. Another challenge to the future of the species is that it is believed that they only breed once every two years and often only give birth to one calf so the close relationship between mother and baby is not only important for the survival of the individual calf, it is also hugely important to the survival of the entire species.