Tapir facts!

  • Tapirs are large land mammals that eat plants (fruits, berries, and leaves).
  • Tapirs live in a variety of habitats from grasslands to rainforests.
  • Tapirs look like pigs with short elephant-like trunks. But they are actually most closely related to rhinos and horses.
  • Tapirs can live up to 30 years in the wild.
  • Tapirs are fantastic swimmers. They can use their long, flexible snout as a snorkel!
  • Baby tapirs have stripes and spots. This camouflage probably helps protect them from predation.
  • Tapirs are great seed dispersers. They eat fruit and poop out the seeds, spreading them to new locations. Tapirs are keystone species – they help keep forests healthy.
  • There are 4 known species of tapir. Unfortunately, all of them are at risk of extinction in the wild. We can help tapirs by learning more about them and spreading awareness about their importance.

Tapir resources for parents and educators

Visit the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group website for educator resources and activities for kids!

Visit tapirday.org for tapir-themed arts & crafts.

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