Tapir Facts | Brazil 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, hunters and habitat loss have now brought them to the brink of extinction.
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.