• IUCN Status
  • Population
  • Diet
    Herbivore. mostly leaves, buds, shoots, small branches and aquatic plants.
  • Group
  • Size
    1.8 meters long.
  • Continent
    South America
  • Lifespan
    25-30 years
  • Weight
  • Habitat
    Rainforest of South America
  • Scientific Name
    Tapirus terrestris

Meet the Lowland Tapir


Lowland tapirs can grow to the size of a small pony, and when running resemble a galloping horse. They have large teeth, perfect for grinding up plants and seeds, and their long prehensile snout is used to reach for leaves and fruits. They are also known for being strong swimmers, with the ability to cross rivers and take to the water to escape predators.

It feeds on leaves, buds, shoots, and small branches it tears from trees, fruit, grasses, and aquatic plants. They also feed on the vast majority of seeds found in the rainforest. 

Tapirs are a vital source of plant distribution in the wild as their droppings contain many fruit and plant seeds.


Pumpkin & Pear our lowland tapirs

Did you know?

Here are just some of the many things to know about Lowland Tapirs.

Do tapirs live in large groups?up arrow

No, they don't.  They are mostly solitary animals until the mating season which is normally April, May or June

How big are lowland tapirs?down arrow

They are the largest wild land animal in South America, growing up to 1.8 metres long and weighing around 225 kg

Can lowland tapirs swim?down arrow

Yes!  They are very capable swimmers that can stay underwater for several minutes.  Even youngsters are able to swim when just a few days old.

What animals are tapirs related to?down arrow

They are believed to be most closely related to horses and rhinos although they have a prehensile snout just like an elephants trunk.

How do tapirs communicate with each other?down arrow

Tapirs make shrill whistles & clicks, shrieking to express pain & snorting to express irritation