Tapirs: Odds and ends make a magnificent beast
Stroll down Tiger Trail, and you’ll soon come upon a most unusual mammal—the Malayan tapir. Zoo visitors often ask, “What is it? A pig? An anteater?” No, the tapir is a primitive animal that has remained unchanged for millions of years. Most closely related to horses and rhinos, tapirs have a nose and upper lip combined into a flexible snout like an elephant’s trunk, which they can use to reach and pull plant material into the mouth.
You can view our tapirs from three different spots along the trail. Their exhibit is shaded by a variety of fan palms and ferns, and a large pool provides a great place for the tapirs to take a dip. The animals don’t swim; instead, they hold their breath, sink to the bottom, and walk!