With its trunk leading the way, the baby Baird’s tapir once again explored pools and exotic plants at the Franklin Park Zoo yesterday after recovering from life-threatening pneumonia.
The 50-pound South American mammal, which looks like a cross between an elephant and a hog, responded to an aggressive eight-day regimen of antibiotics, said Dr. Eric Baitchman, a zoo veterinarian.
Zoo trainers plan today to announce the winning entry in a naming contest put off when he fell ill: Seamus, because the tapir was born the day before St. Patrick’s Day. To celebrate, anyone named Seamus can visit the zoo free on May 5 and 6.
The 1,200 entries included Nosy, Stripes, Franklin, Spot, and Snuffleupagus, not to mention Ulysses and Sassafras.
”And of course, lots of Jimmy Durante,” said John Linehan, president and chief executive of Zoo New England.
Nursing home residents lobbied for Durante, the late entertainer with the prominent schnoz. ”If anybody shows up with the name Jimmy Durante,” Linehan said, ”they get free admission as well.”
He’s a Snuffleupagus, not a Seamus.