IUCN Status: Vulnerable
The Brazilian or lowland tapir at Howletts are popular with visitors and keepers alike. We are currently home to three males and a female and visitors can often see them enjoying their pools in the summer months and warming up in their cosy sheds in the winter.
Tommy, one of our breeding male tapirs, enjoys nothing more than a tickle from his keepers and is very partial to a banana, which he only gets as a very occasional treat! You can adopt Tommy and help us to continue our work with tapirs here.
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Brazilian tapirs have remained virtually unchanged for over 20 million years. A relative of the horse and the rhinoceros, tapirs are mainly active at night and use their prehensile upper lip to browse on aquatic plants, twigs, foliage and fruit.
Females give birth to a single calf, after about 13 months. Youngsters are born with stripes and spots on their coats, which help keep them hidden against the forest backdrop.