Baird’s Tapir

(Tapirus bairdii)

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.

CHARACTERISTICS

Range
Southern Mexico and throughout Central America down to Colombia and Ecuador

Habitat
Tropical rainforest

Diet
Leaves, fresh shoots, water and swamp plants, fruit

Population
Highly endangered

Size
Up to 120 cm (shoulder height)

Weight
150 bis 400 kg

Gestation period
Approx. 13 months

 

Passionate swimmers
Tapirs live for bathing and swimming. This helps them cool off and escape jaguars and pumas

Impressive teeth
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.

Did you know...
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.