Names of the animals in the Zoo:
MishaFemale - born at Dublin Zoo in September 1994. Misha arrived here at Paignton Zoo in 2000. She is an excellent mum to Tara and enjoys lazing in the sun.RyanMale - born at Dartmoor Wildlife Park in March 1995. Ryan came to paignton Zooin 2002 and
Wet forest and grassland in South America.
Grasses, leaves, buds, soft twigs, fruits of low growing shrubs, aquatic vegetation and green shoots.
The tapir's short, fleshy, trunk-like nose helps the animal to sniff its way through the forest and is a sensitive 'finger' used to pull leaves and shoots towards its mouth. This prehensile snout also makes a great snorkel when the tapirs are bathing. They love water and are excellent swimmers.
A single youngster is born after a gestation of 390 - 400 days (13 months). Baby tapirs have striped and spotted coats for camouflage but they lose their patterns as they grow older. They can live for up to 30 years.
The Piaroas Indians of South America do not hunt tapirs because they believe this animal to be sacred. They believe their ancestors are reincarnated as tapirs after death.
Dwindling numbers are due to poaching for meat and hide, as well as habitat destruction.