Brazilian tapir

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Animal File

Common Name:
Brazilian tapir
Scientific Name:
Tapirus terrestris
Size: 77 - 108 cm (to shoulder)
Weight: 150 - 250 kg
Mammals
Herbivores
Native to South America
Temperate Forest and Taiga

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

Despite their rather strange appearance and very long, twitchy nose, the tapir belongs to the same family as the horse, zebra and rhinoceros. The snout is long, but also very mobile, enabling the tapir to seek out the tastiest leaves, fruit and berries on trees and shrubs. In the Zoo, they are fed horse and pony pellets, fruit and vegetables.

Tapirs love to swim and their long snout is useful again as it helps them to breathe. They live in the forests of South America, but are often hunted for their meat and skins for leather which has significantly reduced their numbers in the wild. However, they can live until they are 30 years old.

Tapirs give birth to a single baby which is covered in a pattern of white spots and stripes. This provides great camouflage when they are hiding in the undergrowth if threatened by predators. As they eat vast amounts of plants, they spread seeds in their poo. This means that new plants grow in other parts of the forest providing food and shelter to different species.

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The health of our zoo family, which includes our visitors, staff and animals, is our top priority. In light of the most recent advice from Public Health England and the government, we have closed Blackpool Zoo at until further notice.

Please be assured that our dedicated keeper team will continue to provide the best care for our animals during the closure.

If you’ve booked tickets for any day during this closure, you can exchange them for any other date in 2020 or we can provide a refund. Please send your booking details to tickets@blackpoolzoo.org.uk.

We’ll keep you informed through our website and social media channels. We apologise for any disappointment and thank you for your patience.

We really look forward to welcoming you back to Blackpool Zoo when we re-open.

Stay safe everyone.