Tapir (Brazilian)

Tapirus terrestris

IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable

For more info on classifications, visit www.iucnredlist.org



Where they live

Amazon Basin from Venezuela, Colombia, and the Guyanas in the north to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, in the south and to Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador in the West.


Forest near water and swamps from Columbia and Venezuela to Brazil and Paraguay


Length 180-250 cm and height 75-120 cm




25-30 years


All four species are threatened, largely by hunting and habitat loss.

More about Brazilian tapirs...

At DZC we have Brazilian or South American Tapirs, one of four species found around the world; three in central and south America and one in Asia.

Tapirs are large browsing mammals, closely related to horses and rhinoceroses (odd toed ungulates, hoofed animals).

They are similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile snout which is adapted for grasping. It is also used to sniff their way through the forest.

Brazilian tapirs are dark brown in colour and this provides excellent camouflage in the forest shadows.

All tapirs have oval, white-tipped ears, rounded, protruding rumps with stubby tails, and splayed, hoofed toes, with four toes on the front feet and three on the hind feet, which help them to walk on muddy and soft ground.

A stiff, bristly mane provides protection against the bite of the jaguar, the tapirs main predator.

They are herbivores, using their mobile snouts to feed on leaves, buds, shoots, and small branches that they tear from trees, fruit, grasses, and aquatic plants.

Tapirs are solitary animals with the males and females only interacting during the breeding season.

After a 395 day gestation period the female gives birth to a single baby.

Young tapirs have reddish, brown coats dappled with spots and stripes, however, the pattern is lost by the time the calf is six months old.

How you can help...

Adopt a Tapir (Brazilian)!

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Silver Adoption

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