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  • Ven a conocer al Tapir Amazonico | Zoo Aquarium de Madrid

Common name:

South American tapir

Scientific name:

Tapirus terrestris


227-300 kg


1,7-2,5 metros
Rain forest
South America


Who is it? 

It has a strange appearance but this animal is a distant relative of species such as the rhinoceros or the horse.

For example, it has a thin muscular crest like a mane, from its forehead to its shoulders (which helps it, moreover, to protect it from the bites of its predators). It is a robust mammal, with a thick neck, a cylindrical appearance and short, cinnamon-coloured fur which allows it to remain unnoticed in the shadowy jungle. 

 Tropical and subtropical forest, between 200m and 1,500m high, is its natural habitat (Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, northern Argentina). The most-developed senses of the South American tapir are hearing and smell. Though its main enemy is the jaguar, hunting and habitat destruction are what have made it vulnerable.

What are its habits?

The South American tapir leads a solitary nocturnal life. Despite its size, it’s difficult to see it in its territory, which it marks with urine when walking. It usually lives near water course, where the vegetation is softer (it feeds on leaves, twigs, shoots, grasses and fruit on occasion).

The female’s gestation lasts 13 months and reaches sexual maturity when she is four years old. This animal takes long walks through territory it marks with urine as it passes.

Did you know…

The South American tapir loves to swim and submerge itself. In fact, it is a great swimmer.

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Dear visitor:

Following the indication of the competent authorities, Zoo Aquarium de Madrid will remain closed out of consideration for the health and safety of our visitors and employees. We continue to provide regular updates through this website and social media.

Since our priority is that our visitors can enjoy the unique experiences of our park, for customers with tickets on dates with the park closed, changes will be allowed for dates on any other day in the year 2020. If you made your purchase at the box office or on the park's website, please write an email to with your ticket information for personalized management of your case. For other sales channels, please contact your distribution point directly.

In the meantime, and seeking to safeguard our animals wellbeing, our veterinarians and caretakers teams will continue to diligently look after them on a daily basis.

We deeply appreciate your understanding and will continue to report promptly through our website and social media.