These tapirs are native to wet forest and grassland in South America.
They eat 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 to 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 biggest threats to the population of this Vulnerable species are excessive hunting, harsh competition with livestock as well as deforestation, leading to loss of their natural habitat. Brazilian tapirs are officially protected by the government.
- Latin Name: Tapirus terrestris
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Perissodactyla
- Family: Tapiridae
- Conservation Status: Vulnerable
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