Also called the Asian or Indian tapir. A monotypic genus within the tapir family, Tapiridae. Tapirs are primitive large mammals most closely related to horses and rhinos.
Habitat & Range
Tropical lowland swamp, montane and hill forests, prefers dense, primary forests.
The tapir ranges through Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand south to Malaysia and Sumatra.
Malayan tapirs are sometimes called “Oreo” tapirs because of their distinctive black and white color pattern resembles an Oreo cookie. The black on the front and back with white or gray in the middle is a form of camouflage that breaks up the tapir’s outline in the shadows of the forest. The stripes and spots on the vulnerable babies help them blend into the dappled sunlight and leaf shadows of the forest and protects them from predators.
IUCN Status: Endangered
The biggest threat to tapirs is habitat loss due to land clearance for human settlement and agriculture. Clear cutting for lumber and flooding by hydroelectric dam projects also pose threats to tapirs. In some areas they are hunted for food and for the live animal trade.
Download the App!
Get the FREE Denver Zoo app today, and be a pro the next time you visit the Zoo. You’ll get access to the Zoo map, daily activities and schedules, animal facts, and more. You can even load your membership card onto the app for additional convenience. It puts everything you need for an amazing Zoo experience right into the palm of your hand!