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The Baird's Tapir is one of four species of tapir still left in the world. The remaining species are the: Brazilian, Malayan and Mountain.

The people of Belize, Central America call their tapir "a mountain cow." However, despite the local name, the Mountain Tapirs do not reside in Belize: only the Baird's Tapir lives in Belize. The Baird's Tapir is also the national animal of Belize.

Reaching a weight of over 800 pounds the Baird's Tapir is the second largest of all tapir. The Malayan Tapir is the largest of all tapir species. A Baird's Tapir can grow as tall as 4 feet and as long as 6.5 feet.

Unlike other many mammals which has the same amount of toes on all four feet, a Baird's Tapir has four toes on its' front feet and only three toes on its' back feet. The Baird's Tapir has dark brownish hair so short that from a distance it looks hairless. The Baird's Tapir has a cream-colored marking on its face and throat distinctive only to its' species.

Due to the size of a Baird's Tapir only a jaguar can kill an adult Baird's on land. In the water only an American Crocodile is capable of killing a grown Baird's.

After gestation of about 13 months a single tapir will be born to a mother about once every 2 years. Baby tapirs will learn to swim at only 3 weeks of age. A tapir will leave its' mother at about the age of 2 or 3 years and will live an almost completely solitary life till it dies at about the age of 25 to 30 years. Both male and female tapirs reach reproductive age between 2 to 4 years.

Tapirs are very shy and will probably run and hide from someone it sees. There are very rare occasions where a tapir will attack a person. However, when tapirs attack they can run very fast and their jaws are powerful enough to sever limbs. Be careful and always have a partner when walking in any known tapir territory. ~Anthony Benjamin~

Anthony Benjamin, an avid writer, world traveler and a great lover of nature. He shares his adventures with his readers via his writings and via his hobby of building websites such as this one:



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