Brazilian Tapir

Brazilian Tapir

Brazilian Tapir
Tapirus terrestris


CLASS
Mammalia
ORDER
Perissodactyla
FAMILY
Tapiridae

Range

South America


Habitat

Wooded, grassy habitats and jungles


Diet

Grasses, leaves, buds, soft twigs, fruits of low growing shrubs, aquatic vegetation and shoots

Weight

330 - 550 lbs.

Length

71 - 98 in.

Height

29 – 47 in. (to shoulder)

Gestation

13 months

Young

1 offspring

IUCN Status

Vulnerable

Facts

  • The tapir is a close relative of horses and rhinos.
  • Tapirs are the largest terrestrial mammal native to the Amazonian region of South America.
  • The tapir's head extends into a short, fleshy trunk, which is actually a prolonged nose and upper lip that is combined into a flexible snout like an elephant's trunk.
  • Its trunk-like nose is a sensitive "finger" used to pull leaves and shoots towards its mouth.
  • Its small, deep-set eyes are protected from brush and thorns common in the its habitat.
  • Tapirs play an important role to play in their ecosystem as major seed disperser.
  • Tapirs help their ecosystem by smashing down small trees and breaking branches to make trails, which aid other creatures in moving through the forest, too.
  • Tapirs are at home in the water. They are able swimmers and will take freely to water when pressed by predators like jaguars and crocodilians.

 

Conservation

The main threats to the species include loss of habitat through deforestation, hunting for meat and competition with domestic livestock.

Vulnerable

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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