Malayan Tapir

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION/RANGE: 
Burma and Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, possibly Laos

DIET: 
(Herbivore) wild-aquatic vegetation, leaves, buds, twigs, fruits of low-growing terrestrial plants; At the Zoo-grasses, grain, fruit, vegetables.

HABITAT: 
Wooded or grassy areas with permanent water source.

DESCRIPTION: 
The most unusually colored of all tapirs; the black and white color pattern makes this species almost invisible in jungles at night, when vegetation becomes black and white in the moonlight. Tapirs are in the same order as horses, zebras, asses and rhinos.

DID YOU KNOW? 
The nose and upper lips extend into a kind of short trunk with nostrils at the end. This allows the animals to breath while submerge in water. The body shape helps these generally nocturnal mammals move easily through thick underbrush. Tapirs are able to do many things well: climb hills, run, slide, wade, dive, and swim. They can defend themselves by biting. Senses of sight and hearing are good. Communication is achieved with shrill whistling sounds and scent marking with urine. Malayan tapirs are found in only about 20 out of 218 accredited zoos.

MORE ABOUT OUR ANIMALS: 
We have a 13-year-old female named Bailey.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED IN CONSERVATION EFFORTS: 
Read about tapirs online and check out books from your local library. Become a member of the El Paso Zoological Society. Funds raised by the Society are used to support conservation efforts at the El Paso Zoo and in the wild.  

JUST FOR KIDS: 
Find the Tapir! A fun family activity at the El Paso Zoo at certain times of the day is to find the tapir.  Our tapir loves to swim throughout the year and if you do not see her look in the pool that surrounds our siamang island. Another fun activity is to describe the tapir in an email or text to another family member or friend. They sure are strange looking creatures!