Lowland tapir

About This Project

With its short snout and its crest, the tapir is a remarkable animal, often confused with the giant anteater. But this animal only eats plants: leaves, grass, fruit and aquatic plants – in fact, it loves swimming! Weighing over 200 kg, it is one of the largest mammals in South America. The young are born with white spots and stripes, to help them with camouflage, but their coat is a plain colour by adulthood… except for their legs, where a few spots remain.

Tapirs live in the Amazon rainforest where they are threatened by being hunted for their meat and their skin and by deforestation.

Three females and one male live at La Barben; they share a big enclosure with the capybaras.

Species in the EEP

Latin name: Tapirus terrestris
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Tapiridae
Size: 1 m tall, 2 m long
Weight: 150-250 kg
Lifespan: 30 years
Gestation: 13 months
Number of young: 1, very occasionally 2
Habitat: tropical forest
Diet: herbivorous, frugivorous
Distribution: from Venezuela and Colombia, to southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and east of the Andes.
Conservation status: vulnerable