A Handy Nose:
The tapir’s nose and upper lip are combined into a flexible snout that is “prehensile,” which means it can wrap around branches and pull off leaves that the mouth alone couldn’t reach.
When they are alarmed, they run for the nearest water, dive in, and swim beneath the surface, using their snout as a snorkel.
At Reid Park Zoo:
Reid Park Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the Baird’s tapir. By comparing the pictures taken of young tapirs born at the Reid Park Zoo to pictures of young tapirs in the wild, tapir researchers can better estimate the age of those tapirs to learn about the age distribution and health of the tapir population in their natural habitat. Reid Park Zoo also supports researchers through the Baird’s Tapir Project, which monitors Baird’s tapirs in Nicaragua, to learn how they use their habitat to find ways to best protect their habitat. Since tapirs are an umbrella species, protecting tapirs also protects other species that share the tapir’s habitat. You can help save tapir habitat by purchasing products that only contain palm oil certified as sustainable by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). You can learn more about sustainable palm oil here.