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:
Just like tapirs in the wild, the tapirs here at Reid Park Zoo spend much of their time in the water. The tapirs also enjoy banana popsicles and greenery such as bamboo, mulberry, privet, and palm leaves.
Tapir calf Toliver was born at Reid Park Zoo in August of 2015. This was a very exciting birth! Toliver kept his baby markings (white stripes and spots, which help camouflage vulnerable tapir calves in the wild) for about 6 months. Tapirs are great swimmers; Toliver started swimming (closely watched by mom) at just a few weeks old. Toliver recently left Reid Park Zoo for a breeding program in Mexico.