Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hand-Knitted Baird's, Lowland, Mountain, and Asian Tapirs

Introducing the starting line-up for TPF!

Our Hand-Knitted Tapirs

In January, 2001, we got a surprise package in the mail. It contained four incredible, beautiful, and biologically accurate hand-knitted tapirs from Canada! They were made by ungulate specialist Brent Huffman. Because Brent has studied and (very importantly) OBSERVED tapirs, each species of the knitted variety has the identifying characteristics found in the living tapirs. For instance, the Asian tapir has the appropriate markings and an eye that is barely visible in its dark face (it's going to look darker than in the picture); The Baird's tapir has the telltale light coloration on its throat AND a dark spot on each cheek (just like real Baird's tapirs if you look carefully!); the lowland tapir has the typical tall sagittal crest, stitched to make it stand up; and the mountain tapir has strongly white lips like the real ones. Each tapir is made in its own distinct colors, the overall shape, including the legs, is very realistic, and the rump is taller than the shoulders. Each tapir has white ear tips and the proper number of toes (four on each front foot and three on each rear foot). These unique items have been offered to us as a Tapir Gallery exclusive!

The tapirs are finished with polyester stuffing, and although they're soft, they will stand up. Each tapir measures about 7 inches from nose to tail, and stands about 3 1/2 inches tall. Because they are hand-made, they will vary a small amount - like real tapirs. And because each knitted tapir is unique, they all come with an individualized identification card, complete with a studbook number. Of course, it's up to you to give your new tapir a name! Brent also reminded us that because they're knitted, they're partially pliable. They can be somewhat molded into shape (i.e., the snout can be "drooped" or extended, the positions of the legs can be varied, etc.).

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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