WORLD TAPIR DAY
Every year on April 27th, World Tapir Day aims to create a community around tapir awareness and conservation.
What does a tapir look like? Well, it looks like a pig with a trunk. Some people refer to them as a boar crossed with an anteater. However, tapirs aren’t related to any of these animals. Instead, they are related to horses and rhinos. Weighing over 600 pounds, tapirs are the largest land mammals in South America. This herbivore also lives in Central America and Southeast Asia.
There are four recognized types of tapirs, including:
- Brazilian tapir
- Malayan tapir,
- Baird’s tapir
- Mountain tapir
Both the Brazilian tapir and the mountain tapir are on the list of threatened species. In addition, the Malayan tapir and the Baird’s tapir are endangered. Today, there are only 3,000 Malayan tapirs globally and 5,000 Baird’s tapirs.
- Other facts about these interesting animals include:
- Tapirs have been around for so long that they are commonly called living fossils.
- The gestation period for tapirs is between 13 and 14 months.
- Tapirs are an umbrella species, which means that protecting them will help protect other species it shares a habitat with.
- The snout on the tapir is very flexible.
- Tapirs in the Amazon are hunted for their meat.
Baby tapirs have spots and stripes that make them resemble a watermelon. These markings disappear as they grow older.
Tapirs are known as the “gardeners of the forest.” Some people believe that tapirs are instrumental in re-growing the rainforests because they eat a lot of fruit and disperse seeds wherever they go.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldTapirDay
- Zoos worldwide that have tapirs hold many special events on this day.
- Tapir conservation organizations also host events to help spread awareness about this unique animal.
- Learn more about tapirs.
- Donate organizations, such as the Tapir Specialist Group, that are helping to protect the tapirs.
- Go check out your local zoo’s tapir exhibit.
- Watch the documentary “The Tale of the Tapir.”
- Help spread awareness for tapirs by posting pictures and fun facts about the animal on social media.
- When doing so, don’t forget to use #WorldTapirDay.
WORLD TAPIR DAY HISTORY
Tapir lovers and conservationists from around the world banded together to establish this special animal day. They hosted the first World Tapir Day in 2008.