ANIMAL: Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus Type of Animal: Tapir Habitat: Tropical forest, river basins, swamps, alpine scrub, grassy clearings, cultivated areas, rubber plantations, open fields, forest edge, marshes, rivers, valley bottoms Location(s): Sumatra, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Burma Appearance: Black head and legs w/ large white saddle, long black snout. No mane on neck. Calves look like watermelons w/ legs when young, getting adult coloration after a few months. Food/Diet: Grasses, aquatic plants, buds, soft twigs, green shoots, leaves, fruit, shrubs, berries, mosses, small branches Status in Wild: Endangered Conservation: Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks Lifestyle: Solitary, though sometimes found in male-female pairs Additional Info: Called: Male-Bull Female-Cow Young-Calf Group-Pair Weight: Male-660-740 lbs Female-760-900 lbs Young-200 lbs Gestation: 13 months Height: Male-3.4 ft Female-4.2 ft Body Length: 7.5-10 ft Life Span: 25-30 years Tail Length: 1.92-3.96 in Main predators are tigers, leopards, & crocodiles. Tapirs fight with teeth, biting at each other. Very elusive & hard to find in wild due to often nocturnal habits. Tough skin for protection against predators. Will flee into water or, in the case of females w/ calves, attack w/ canine teeth. Largest of 5 tapir species & only one not found in C or S America. Each male territory has 3-4 female territories within. Due to diet, play important role as seed dispersers. Sometimes called “gardeners of the forest” for this role. Endangered due to habitat loss, deforestation, hunting for food/sport/hide, agriculture, flooding from hydroelectric projects, cattle grazing, & illegal wildlife trade. Mark territory by spraying urine on plants. They’re excellent swimmers, using snout as snorkel. They can stay underwater for up to 7 minutes. Communicate w/ high-pitched squeaks. Besides being used as a snorkel, they can also use snout to obtain food since it’s prehensile. Fun Fact(s): Generally docile unless provoked or female protecting calf. Their canine teeth are quite capable of biting an arm off. Though they might look like pigs, closest relatives are horses & rhinos. In Thai, known as “P’som-sett” meaning “mixture is finished” based on belief that tapir was created from leftover parts of other animals.