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Amazonian Tapir

Scientific name:  Tapirus terrestris
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  South America
Habitat:   Bosque tropical
Diet:  Frugívoro
Weight:  227 - 300 kg
Size:  1,7 - 2,5 m
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Meet the Amazonian Tapir!

It may seem strange, but this animal is a distant relative of species such as the rhinoceros or the horse.

It has, for example, a thin muscular crest like a mane, from the forehead to the shoulders (which also helps protect it from the bites of its predators). It is a robust mammal, with a thick neck, cylindrical appearance and short cinnamon-colored fur that allows it to go unnoticed in the shady forest.

The tropical and subtropical forest, between 200 and 1,500 meters above sea level, is its natural habitat (Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, northern Argentina). Hearing and smell are its most developed senses. Although its main predator is the jaguar, hunting by humans and the destruction of its environment has made it vulnerable to extinction.

What are its habits?

The Amazon lowland tapir leads a solitary and nocturnal life. Despite its size, it is difficult to see it in its territory, which it marks with urine. It usually lives near watercourses, where the vegetation is more tender (it feeds on leaves, branches, shoots, grasses and fruit).

The female has a gestation period of 13 months and reaches sexual maturity at four years of age. This animal takes long walks through a territory that it marks with urine.

Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


The Amazonian Tapir likes to swim and dive very much. In fact, it is characterized by being a great swimmer.

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Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure

Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure