A fascinating Animal Behaviour video of a male and female tapir at Nagasaki Biopark trying to mate and reproduce. It would be very interesting to know how this behaviour compares with tapir reproductive behaviour in their natural habitat, in South America.
The South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris), is also known as the Brazilian tapir (from the Tupi tapi'ira), and the Lowland tapir or (in Portuguese) anta, and is one of five species of tapir .
Very little is known about the behaviour of these quiet, shy and primarily solitary animals who mostly graze and forage at night, hiding and resting during the day. There is need for further research.
The South American tapir can be found near water in the Amazon Rainforest and River Basin in South America, east of the Andes. Its range stretches from Venezuela, Colombia, and the Guianas in the north to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay in the south, to Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador in the West.
Lowland tapirs are excellent swimmers and divers, but also move quickly on land, even over rugged, mountainous terrain. They have a life span of approximately 25 to 30 years. In the wild, their main predators are crocodilians ( black caiman and Orinoco crocodile) and large cats, such as the jaguar and cougar, which often attack tapirs at night when they leave the water and sleep on the riverbank. Brazilian tapirs are also attacked by green anacondas. They are known to run to water when scared to take cover.
They mate in April, May, or June, reaching sexual maturity in their third year of life. Females go through a gestation period of 13 months (390–395 days) and will typically have one offspring every two years. Newborn tapirs weigh about 15 pounds and will be weaned in about six months. Tapirs have few babies throughout their lifetime, which results in their recovery being very slow if the population is disturbed.
The South American tapir is listed as an endangered species. This is due to illegal hunting and poaching for meat and hide, as well as habitat destruction. This species is not at as great a risk of extinction as the other 4 species of tapir.
Tapirs are related to horses and rhinoceroses.
For more information on Nagasaki Bio Park, go to: capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/visiting-nagasaki-bio-park-was-one-of-the-best-experiences-of-my-life-if-you-love-capybaras-it-is-an-absolute-must-visit-before-you-die/
For information on how to get to Nagasaki Bio Park, including from Tokyo Narita Airport:: capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/how-to-get-to-nagasaki-bio-park-to-see-the-adorable-capybaras-of-course-there-are-lots-of-other-animals-many-of-which-you-can-pet-and-botanical-gardens-its-very-easy/
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