If you enter our new Americas zone you will get to see our friendly lowland tapir Alf! He’s normally found hanging out with his friends Clarence the capybara and the three stooges aka our greater rhea.
Species: Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)
Favourite Food: Banana, but it’s only used as a treat! His day to day favourite is sweet potato.
Favourite pastime: Chasing the rhea around the enclosure and jumping in the pond
5 Facts about Tapir
Tapir are thought to be the most primitive large mammal in the world and have been around for 20 million years!
They love to swim and can use their trunk like a snorkel.
Baby tapir are spotty and striped to help them to camouflage into their environment.
They poo in the water to help mask their smell from any predator that may be hunting them.
Their snout may make them look similar to an anteater or an elephant but they are distantly related to rhinos and horses
If you’re a huge fan of tapirs, you can even book a Tapir Time Experience with Alf. Where you will get the chance to hand feed him and brush him. We will warn you, he is a slobbery eater but very very cute!
Written by India Mills