Despite looking like a cross between a pig, an elephant and a panda, these natives of Southeast Asia are closely related to rhinos and horses. In fact, they are the only tapir species in Asia.
At Singapore Zoo, you can view our Malayan tapirs at home in their naturalistic habitat - dense lowland primary forests along the river bank. There are plenty of low-lying shrubs, soft twigs and succulent shoots and leaves for these herbivores to forage for and munch on. You might even see our tapirs taking a dip in the pond as tapirs like to spend a lot of time in the water cooling off or washing away skin parasites.
Noses that are also hands
The tapir’s trunk is a powerful sense organ that is integral to its search for food. And that’s not the only thing its trunk can do; it serves a dual purpose as hands to guide food into the mouth and to probe unfamiliar objects.