The Baird’s tapir is a highly endangered species in its native homeland – the tropical Central American rainforest. According to estimates, there are less than 5500 animals living in the wild. They are mostly solitary and mostly feed off of leaves, buds and fruit.
Tapirs live for bathing and swimming. This helps them cool off and escape jaguars and pumas
Tapirs are shy animals that quickly retreat into the bushes or even into the water if they sense danger. But if the need arises, they know how to defend themselves. Using their large canine teeth, tapirs can even fend off crocodiles and giant snakes.
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The tapir’s striking protruded upper lip is a great tool for picking things up. Its streamlined body makes running through the thorny undergrowth that much easier. Tapirs have a good sense of smell and hearing, but they’re very short-sighted. They primarily communicate via olfactory senses using their noses. And if a tapir wants to reach a more distant member of its species, it emits a high-pitched, loud whistle.