Mountain tapirs, one of four tapir species, live at high elevations and so their fur is longer and thicker than that of other tapir species. But like the other tapir species, mountain tapirs are highly aquatic, diving, swimming, and splashing in water, and wallowing in mud. All the tapirs belong to the same order as horses, zebras, and rhinoceroses.
Mountain tapirs have a general body form that is tapered in front and rounded in the back. This adaptation makes them well suited for moving quickly through the thick underbrush of sub-tropical mountainsides. As a result, engineers of the past century have constructed roads using the tapirs’ worn paths up the sides of mountains.
This is the smallest of the four tapir species and the only one not found in tropical rainforests. Mountain tapirs are also known as Andean tapirs and woolly tapirs. They are found at high elevations in the sub-tropics of the Andes.
Cloud forests and sub-tropical regions of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru
These herbivores browse and graze on twigs, leaves, buds, and low-hanging fruit.
- Length: 6 feet
- Height: 32 inches
- Weight: 485-550 pounds