About the size of a shetland pony, the tapir is a rather odd looking animal. Not only has it a long and flexible snout like a short trunk, but it has four toes on each of its fore feet and only three toes on the hind feet.

Breeding

Tapirs have no fixed breeding season. After a gestation period of about 390 days, a single baby is born (twins are rare). The baby can follow its mother within minutes of being born and all new-born tapirs have a reddish-brown coat dappled with white spots and stripes. This pattern helps to provide the young one with excellent camouflage. Whenever there is danger lurking nearby, the baby 'freezes' and becomes part of its background. These coat markings last until the baby is about six months old, and then fade as the young tapir grows its adult coat. The youngster will remain with its mother for up to twelve months and then goes off on its own.

Read More: Tapirs and humans

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