Wet forest and grassland.
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.
Habitat destruction and hunting.
The best hopes for survival are in forest reserves and in captivity. The captive population in European zoos is managed co-operatively.
- Latin Name: Tapirus terrestris
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Perissodactyla
- Family: Tapiridae
- Conservation status: Vulnerable
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