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All Animals

Baird’s Tapir

Tapirs are the largest land mammal in South America. Females are larger than males and can weigh up to 700 pounds. They inhabit rivers and wetlands and eat grass, plants, and fruit.

Animal Facts

Scientific Name

Tapirus bairdii


Southern Mexico, through Central America to the western side of the Andes in Colombia

Location in the Zoo

Near the entrance to African Forest, next to anteater and capybara.

Cool Animal Fact

Closest relatives are the horse and rhinoceros families.

How we Help Save Them

  • Since 2015, our partners in the Pantanal have trained 19 fellows from 9 countries in tapir conservation, building more capacity to help protect the species in the wild.
  • Our partners completed 6 years of data collection on tapir road collision issues in order to develop a map of critical collision areas to reduce the threat.
  • Nearly 400 Houstonians learned about and helped save wildlife like tapirs at our annual Conservation Gala, focused on The Pantanal.
  • Since 1996, our partners have radio-collared and monitored 165 tapirs, comprising the largest tapir study in the world.

How You Can Help

Donate now to help tapirs in the wild:

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