Tapir Facts



Living in the tropical rainforest of Central and South America and Southeast Asia is an odd looking animal whose appearance has remained relatively the same for millions of years; it is the Tapir. There are four extant (alive) species of Tapirs, and possibly five as will be explained below, all of which are either considered threatened or endangered. Below is a list of interesting facts about this pig like looking animal including where it lives, what it eats, and why it is endangered.

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General Tapir Facts

Facts about Tapir Species

The four extant species of Tapirs are listed below. Scientist debate over the existence of a fifth species which has been named the Kabomani Tapir. Some experts believe this animal, which inhabits the western Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Colombia, is simply a juvenile Brazilian tapir whereas other experts believe it to be a different species.

Brazilian Tapir Facts

Malayan Tapir Facts

Baird's Tapir Facts

Mountain Tapir Facts


All four species of Tapirs are considered to be in threat of extinction. They are hunted for both food and their hides and their habitats are being increasingly encroached upon by humans. There is a Tapir Specialist Group that is part of the IUCN who are taking action to hopefully prevent this unique animal from becoming extinct. Attempts to breed them in captivity seem to be working; one example of this is the birth of a male Malayan Tapir at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland on December 31st, 2014.