Tapirs are large browsing mammals, roughly pig-like in shape, with short, prehensile snouts. They inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia .
Tapirs are primarily solitary creatures, marking out
large tracts of land as their territory, though these
areas usually overlap with those of other individuals.
Tapirs mark out their territories by spraying urine on
plants, and they often follow distinct paths which they
have bulldozed through the undergrowth.
Exclusively vegetarian, the animal forages for the
tender shoots and leaves of more than 115 species of
plants (around 30 are particularly preferred), moving
slowly through the forest and pausing often to eat and
note the scents left behind by other tapirs in the area.
However, when threatened or frightened, the tapir can
run quickly, despite its considerable bulk, and they can
also defend themselves with their strong jaws and sharp
teeth. Malayan Tapirs communicate with high-pitched
squeaks and whistles. They usually prefer to live near
water and often bathe and swim, and they are also able
to climb steep slopes. Tapirs are mainly active at
night, though they are not exclusively nocturnal. They
tend to eat soon after sunset or before sunrise, and
they will often nap in the middle of the night. This
type of behavior characterizes them as crepuscular
All four species of tapir are classified as endangered or vulnerable. Their closest relatives are the other odd-toed ungulates, horses and rhinoceroses.
Bronx Zoo Jungle World
from Linton Zoo - A strange looking animal
at drawing a Tapir was limited by his obsession for pigs
. . .