Tapirus terrestris

Lowland Tapir

These friendly, strange-looking mammals prefer to live near water, especially rivers, as they are excellent swimmers.

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Length 2m
Height 1m
Weight 150-250 kg
Lifespan 30 to 35 years
Diet Leaves, flowers and fruit
Habitat Savannah and wetlands
Reproduction 1 cub
IUCN Red List Status
Not evaluated
Data deficient
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered

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They have a sagittal prominence that results in a puff on top of the head and a short mane that runs along this prominence. Adults are dark brown while the juveniles have horizontal white stripes, which disappear after 7 months of age. Lowland Tapirs have a pronounced, flexible, prehensile trunk that helps detect smells and moisture.



Lowland Tapirs are typically solitary. During the day they tend to stay in the shade, resting, and they feed mainly at night. They only come together during mating season or when the mother has young. This species has poor eyesight but a strong sense of smell. Despite being shy animals, they are very aggressive when competing to mate or to defend territories. They are excellent swimmers and use this ability to escape predators.



These animals graze at night, eating fruit, leaves and other plant material.



The number of individuals in the wild is unknown, and this species is difficult to find in its natural habitat. The main threats are habitat loss caused by deforestation, hunting for meat, being run over on roads, and competition with domestic livestock.

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