Tapir Facts | Costa Rica Wildlife Guide
Tapirs, along with their natural predator jaguars, have suffered at the hands of humans. Once frequenting forests, grasslands, lowland swamps and bamboo thickets at nearly 10,000 feet in elevation in the Costa Rican Talamanca Mountains, hunters
Today, tapirs are endangered and reside mainly in national reserves and protect areas where hunting is banned. They have become wary of people, and seeing them in the wild is very rare. They rely on concealment to hide from predators and stay generally close to water, wallowing knee-deep in swamps and camouflaging themselves at the slightest hint of danger. Tapirs can quickly navigate forests, as they are fast runners, but this provides little protection from pursuers. Hunters follow the easily discernable trails they leave in their wake, and dogs are able to track the musky scent and the dung that marks their territories.