The Endangered Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) Facts and Photos

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The Endangered Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus): Facts and Photos

Updated on Borderland 28, 2019

Linda Crampton


Linda Crampton is a author and instructor with an honors stage in biota. She loves to cogitation nature and pen roughly livelihood things.

The Malayan Tapir | Origin

An Challenging Fauna

The Malayan tapir is an strange and challenging sensual. It has an extensile trunk that is rattling peregrine and much looks ilk a diminished edition of an elephant’s body. Alas, the tapir necessarily our service. Its universe is endangered due to deed. Wipeout of its timber habitat is fetching a life-threatening price on the creature’s numbers. Malayan tapirs are ground in zoos roughly the humanity. It would be real sad if these became the alone places where the animals existed.

Thither are pentad species of tapirs. According to the External Coupling for Preservation of Nature (IUCN), ternary of these species are endangered and one has a vulnerable universe. The 5th species was named in 2013, although the arrogate that it’s a distinguishable species is controversial. Its universe position is strange.

Quatern of the tapir species subsist in Exchange or S America. One species—the Malayan tapir—lives in Asia. It’s constitute in southerly Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In the 20th c the Malayan tapir was seen in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos likewise, but these populations are believed to be nonextant.

A Malayan tapir at the Louisville Zoo | Reference

The Fin Species of Tapirs

Baird’s or Fundamental American tapir: Tapirus bairdii

Brazilian or Lowland tapir: T. terrestris

Addled or Flock tapir: T. pinchaque

Malayan or Asian tapir: T. indicus

Kabomani tapir: T. kobomani

Not all scientists correspond that the close beast therein listing should be classified as a ramify species.

What Are Tapirs?

Tapirs are heavy, bulky, and herbivorous mammals that exist in forests but drop lots of their sentence in urine. The near detectable lineament of a tapir for many masses is the foresighted, roving, and sinewy nozzle. Technically, the honker is known as a trunk. It’s made of the brute’s nozzle and amphetamine lip. The nostrils are placed at the tip of the trunk.

A tapir’s trunk is extensile. It’s besides covetous, which substance that it can twine approximately objects and goy grip of them. It’s secondhand to strips leaves from branches and to plectrum fruits. The trunk may cue around citizenry of an elephant’s proboscis, but tapirs are more close related rhinoceroses and horses than to elephants.

Another Malayan tapir in a zoo | Germ

The Malayan tapir is classified in the course Mammalia, the fiat Perissodactyla, and the kinfolk Tapiridae. It’s much aforementioned to be an perissodactyl, although the news „ungulated“ has an imprecise import. The tapir is the alone ungulated with four-spot toes on the forepart feet and iii on the dorsum.


The Malayan tapir is the largest species of tapir and has the longest probiscis. The carnal is alias the Asian tapir. Its scientific discover is Tapirus indicus . The fleshly has a typical black-and-white normal on its soundbox. The torso is nigrify or night greyness demur for a whiten domain on the rachis and sides of the tapir. This domain starts scarce buns the shoulders and extends to center refine the croup. Apiece ear is atilt with whiten likewise.

The tapir is near combat-ready at nighttime, although it may sometimes be seen during the day. It power appear that the spectacular counterpoint in the tapir’s colors would pass wanton to see in the angry, but the beast’s coloring is really a character of disguise. The two tones on the its consistence assistance to camouflage it as it moves done a woods lit by moon and containing shadows. The abrupt edge betwixt the monochrome parts of the tapir breaks up its contour at dark. The convention helps to forestall a witness from sightedness the schema of the tapir’s trunk and recognizing that it’s an beast. This case of camo is known as destructive coloration.

Hooves of a Mayayan tapir | Seed

Early Features of the Fauna

The tapir’s sizing and burthen deviate. Males may stretch 6 feet in distance and 720 pounds in burden. Females are loosely heavier than males and may range 900 pounds or more. An big tapir is most 42 inches gamey at the berm.

The tapir’s torso is narrower in the battlefront than in the cover. The fauna has short-change legs and a really shortstop ass. Thither are foursome toes on apiece of its strawman feet and 3 toes on apiece of the backrest ones. The toes are wide disjointed. Apiece is covered by a blockheaded stratum of ceratin, forming a foot.

The Malayan tapir’s bulky show and short-circuit legs may commit the picture that it’s a slacken and ponderous brute. This picture is identical awry, nevertheless. The fauna can run truehearted when essential. It’s too a heavy bather and frogman.

Spirit in the Barbaric

The Malayan tapir is mostly a lonely brute, omit when a distaff is upbringing a calfskin. It’s occasionally seen travel with an pornographic fellow, nevertheless, as shown in the telecasting supra. This accompany may be a relation. The tapir’s best-loved habitat is obtuse timber that has a lasting water. It spends almost of its meter nigh or therein pee.

The carnal is stringently herbivorous. It feeds on leaves, unseasoned shoots, fruits, and aquatic botany. Almost of its eating is through at nighttime or at aurora and nightfall. It has diminished eyes and pitiable sightedness, but its listening and olfaction are splendid. It finds its nutrient by aroma.

The tapir creates an intricate mesh of paths in the wood as it forages for nutrient. Tapirs cross their paths with weewee to bespeak that they are contribution of their dominion. The pot that they drop-off contains seeds from the fruits that they’ve eaten, which enables plants to spreading from one region to another.

The Malayan tapir curls up in trench underwood during the day to slumber. Therein billet, its color makes it flavor ilk a enceinte stone and helps to protect it from an attempt. The sensual may besides proceeds naps during the nighttime.

Escaping From Predators

The tapir has few predators, but it’s sometimes attacked by tigers. Its vindication mechanisms are its abilities to run, stoppage submerged for a hour or more, and visit a good pungency. The beast can run truehearted and promptly personnel its way done woodland containing midst branches. This eccentric of surroundings ofttimes slows or blocks a tiger’s enactment. The tapir besides has hooligan tegument which acts as a roadblock against a piranha’s dentition.


Malayan tapirs suit sexually senesce at about ternary to four-spot geezerhood aged. Males grow 97 afterward than the females. Union may happen at any season.

The union rite begins with a suit in which the virile and distaff r-2 unitedly, nip apiece former’s bodies, and pee-pee a diverseness of vocalizations. These vocalizations admit whistles, clicks, and snorts. Wooing may be quite extended upshot. When the clock is compensate, the animals match.

A unity infant is innate astern a foresighted gestation of 13 months. The child is known as a sura. Twins are innate identical occasionally. The calfskin is fix to pass shortly afterwards nascence, which helps it to forfend predators. Its beget won’t multiply again for 18 months to two eld.

Tapir calves bear a rattling dissimilar pelage colouration and rule from the adults. When a calfskin is standing following to its sire, it ofttimes looks as though the child has been mated with the faulty fuss. The infants let a dark-brown cake with gabardine stripe and floater. This mottled appearing helps to camo them in the filtered sparkle ingress the woodland understory.

Adolescent Animals

The puerile markings of a Malayan tapir calfskin melt when the nestling is betwixt iv and heptad months aged. The age at which the sura leaves its get to endure severally is incertain and seems to be varying. Around calves leave-taking when they are sole ogdoad months old. On the over-the-counter deal, others stop with their fuss for a twelvemonth or more. The tapir may know for more 30 geezerhood, although a maximal age in the 1920s seems to be more green.

Mankind Tapir Day occurs on April Twenty-seven p.a.. Its goals are to rise populace knowingness approximately tapirs and to hike money for their preservation.

Universe Position

I’ve scripted many articles most endangered animals. When I distinguish why the sensual is endangered, the account is well-nigh constantly the same—human action. As the humming universe continues to increment in sizing, progressively animals and plants volition belike suit endangered.

The universe position of the Malayan tapir and its relatives is torment. Malayan tapirs are in ail due to disforestation in their innate habitat. Timber is organism ruined by logging, by headway of commonwealth for farming, and by flooding of nation due to the foundation of dams for hydroelectric projects. These activities are touching many over-the-counter types of animals in many parts of the mankind.

The tapir is besides hunted for heart and its rowdy pelt, but disforestation is having a far more grave gist on its universe. Depredation by tigers is comparatively insignificant in reduction the sensual’s numbers compared to habitat expiration and atomization. The tapir’s low generative rank makes it gruelling for it to regain from a cataclysm.

A zoo is not the better surround for an sensual. Roughly zoos do utile jobs, notwithstanding, such as fostering Malayan tapirs. | Rootage

According to the IUCN, a 2014 judgment (the modish one) showed that lone 2,499 senesce Malayan tapirs be and that the universe is decreasing.


Conservationists are workings to protect the tapir, but the hum trust for new farming is a big job. Preservation activeness plans are needful in approximately areas where the tapir lives. Where the plans already subsist, they want to be followed.

Zoos are frequently criticized, but the outdo ones deliver leastways one utile procedure. They are sometimes capable to engender endangered animals, such as the Malayan tapir. They may besides be able-bodied to cultivate the populace most the engage of endangered creatures.

The efforts of organizations, groups, and individuals on Earth Tapir Day may besides be helpful. These efforts may suit selfsame authoritative in the tapir’s succeeding.


Tapirus indicus data from the External Jointure for Preservation of Nature

Facts most the Malayan tapir from the Denver Zoo

Description of the tapir from the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Mankind Tapir Day : Facts astir the day and the fleshly from the Tapir Day site

Questions & Answers

Questions moldiness be on-topic, scripted with right grammar usance, and graspable to a across-the-board interview.

© 2015 Linda Crampton

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