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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Tapirs

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Tapirs

Tapirs are endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. Discover five facts about this unique, ancient mammal.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Tapirs

Tapirs are endangered mammals similar in appearance to pigs with short trunks. Today there remain four species of this gentle animal; Central American tapirs, mountain tapirs from the Andean Mountains, Asian tapirs in Southeast Asia and South American tapirs. Hunting and habitat loss means the future of Tapirs is fairly uncertain.

They’ve been around for millions of years: Tapirs have survived numerous waves of extinction, managing to stay around since the Eocene.

They are excellent swimmers: Despite their solid build, Tapirs are strong swimmers and use their aquatic skills to dive underneath the water and feed on plants. They also like to wallow in shallow water and mud pits.

They can grow quite big: Tapirs can grow up to 350kg. The world’s largest Tapirs are found in the forests and swamps of Southeast Asia.

They are herbivores: Tapirs use their trunk to strip the leaves off tree branches and grab fruit.

They are pregnant for more over a year: Tapirs have a gestation period of 13-14 months and give birth to just one offspring at a time. Because of their slow reproduction rates, their endangered status is even more concerning.

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