Wild Animals

Tapir

posted: 04/29/14
tapir-little-debbie-2600w-250x150
Read more Read less
Tapir
MikeLake45/Thinkstock

Allow me to introduce Myself: I'm a Tapir!

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me: Wooded jungles or grassy areas in Central and South America as well as Southeast Asia

What I Like to Eat: Plants, leaves, twigs, berries, fruit and grass.

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: Female tapirs have their babies (one per pregnancy) while standing up. Our babies are born with their own camouflage: brown fur and white stripes that are perfect for deterring predators. As they get older, the white stripes fade from their bodies.

Who We Are : Large, primitive wild animals who are often mistaken for other living creatures like pigs and anteaters. Actually, our cousins are the rhinoceros and the horse. We have tear-dropped shaped bodies and long snouts like the elephant's trunk. We are truly great swimmers, preferring to spend our time in the water during the nights and evenings cooling off and washing off parasites. We are nocturnal creatures who prefer to hide in the shade during the day. Don't let our bulky sizes fool you. When necessary, we can run and scramble up a hill pretty quickly.

Toe-Touches : We have four toes on our front feet and three toes on our back feet, which come in handy while we maneuver through the bottoms of lakes and rivers, muddy hills and dense vegetation.

Endangered: There are four species of tapir. Three of us - Baird's Tapir, Malayan Tapir, Mountain Tapir - are on the endangered list. The fourth species - the Lowaland Tapir - is considered vulnerable. Sadly, poaching and destruction of their habitat is what's put us on both lists.

Predators: We are deathly afraid of big cats. Tigers, jaguars and cougars prey on us. We are also vulnerable to anacondas, crocodiles and humans who hunt us for food and our skin.

.

More on
Wild Animals