Malayan Tapir

The Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) is also called the Asian Tapir, and is the largest of all the tapirs. It is related to horses and rhinoceroses. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal.

The Malayan Tapir is black with a dull-white strip of fur from its shoulders to its tail. It has a short prehensile trunk (like an elephant’s trunk but much shorter). Its trunk can grab branches and leaves or pick fruit from trees. It has a low crest of hair from the crown down the back of the neck. Its round, dark ears have white edges. Its tail is short and stubby.

They have hoofed feet (hooves). They have four toes on their front feet and three toes on their back feet.

Malayan Tapir

Malayan Tapir

The Malayan Tapir can grow to 1.8 metres (6 feet) long and about 77 centimetres (30 inches) tall.

The Tapir feeds mornings and evenings at water holes. It is herbivorous, using its flexible nose to feed on leaves, branches, fruit, grass, and water plants.

They are excellent swimmers and divers, and can also run quickly on land. They also wallow in mud, which may help to remove ticks from their thick skin.

They are native to Southeast Asian rainforests, in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand.

A group of tapirs is called a candle of tapirs. They can have babies when they are about three years old. Females are pregnant for 13 months, and generally have one baby every two years.

They have a life span of approximately 25-30 years.

Malayan Tapir

Malayan Tapir


Photographer: Martina Nicolls



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