Baird's Tapir

(Tapirus bairdii)




Facts about this animal

The Baird's Tapir is the largest American tapir. It is brown to blackish above and paler on the sides of the head and venter. The ears are usually edged in white. The head body length is about 200 cm, the height at the shoulder about 120 cm. It weights 150-330 kg. Females are slightly heavier. The coat is short, sparse and not concealing the skin in lowland populations, but longer ad thicker in the highland populations of Guatemala and Costa Rica.

Did you know?
That the Baird´s Tapir is the largest and heaviest neotropical mammal?
That it fulfils a crucial role in seed dispersal?
That it may consume up to 34kg of plant material within one night?


Name (Scientific) Tapirus bairdii
Name (English) Baird's Tapir
Name (French) Tapir de Baird
Name (German) Bairds Tapir
Name (Spanish) Anteburro, Danta
Local names Belize: Mountain cow
Colombia & Costa Rica: Macho del monte
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



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Sasha Kopf



Range Southern Mexico to Northern Columbia and Ecuador west of the Andens
Habitat Wooded or grassy waterside habitats
Wild population Approx. <5.000 (2006) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 115 (72,42,1) reported to Int. Studbook, J. Roman, Virginia Zoological Park (31.12.2007) 45 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Baird's Tapir


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations, should be followed.


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Why do zoos keep this animal

It is an endangered species which holds a key position in the Central American tropical forests. It thus serves as a flagship species for the conservation of several rich ecosystems. Additionally it is an impressive and attractive animal which easily catches the sympathy of zoo visitors and keepers. Many fascinating facts and anecdotes can be told about their interesting evolution, biology and cultural connection to the people of Central America.