COMMON NAME : Tapir / Cipan / Tanuk

SCIENTIFIC NAME : Tapirus indicus

TYPE : Mammals

DIET : Herbivore

SIZE : Head and body: to 6.50 feet

WEIGHT : 330 to 660 pounds




Tapirs have no fixed breeding season. After a gestation period of about 390 days, a single baby is born (twins are rare). The baby can follow its mother within minutes of being born and all new-born tapirs have a reddish-brown coat dappled with white spots and stripes. This pattern helps to provide the young one with excellent camouflage. Whenever there is danger lurking nearby, the baby ‘freezes’ and becomes part of its background. These coat markings last until the baby is about six months old, and then fade as the young tapir grows its adult coat. The youngster will remain with its mother for up to twelve months and then goes off on its own. (Young People’s Trust for Environment Website)


Tapirs have a short prehensile (gripping) trunk, which is really an extended nose and upper lip. They use this trunk to grab branches and clean them of leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. Tapirs feed each morning and evening. During these hours they follow tunnel-like paths, worn through the heavy brush by many a tapir footstep, to reach water holes and lush feeding grounds. As they roam and defecate they deposit the seeds they have consumed and promote future plant growth. (National Geographic Website)

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