IUCN status: vulnerable
Our two lowland tapirs, Tommy and Che, are father and son. Tommy and Che came to us from our sister park, Howletts Wild Animal Park.
The duo are very friendly characters and enjoy a good belly scratch! Che is the larger of the two, with little faint white spots on his front legs. Che is definitely the more adventurous of the two, he loves nothing more than exploring the pool and going for a swim whatever the weather! Tommy on the other hand, is more of a warm weather swimmer. The pair can often be found either sleeping in their shed or munching on their browse together.
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Lowland tapirs are fairly common in captivity, and have a very successful breeding program. Tommy was born at Bristol Zoo and Che was born at our sister park, Howletts.
Lowland tapirs are classed as ‘vulnerable’ in the wild, with their threats being deforestation, habitat fragmentation, hunting for their meat and competition with livestock.
Lowland tapirs can be found throughout swampy areas in South America, most commonly, Brazil. Tapirs are perfectly adapted to a life with water. Their eyes, ears and nose are all situated on the top of their head so they can use all of those senses while swimming and they even use their nose as a snorkel as they swim!