Malayan Tapir

Malayan Tapirs

Get to know some of the most unique animals at the zoo. We are home to male ‘Tanuck’ and female ‘Sempurna’.

A big animal moving quietly through the forest

Malayan tapirs are distinguished among their species for their black and white colouring which functions as camouflage, breaking up their outline in dense forests. Tapirs have a short prehensile trunk that functions as an extended nose and upper lip and allows them to grip branches. An excellent swimmer, a tapir will submerge itself to cool off and can even dive.


  • IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (at very high risk of extinction in the wild)
  • Type: Mammal
  • Habitat: Tropical lowland swamps and forests in Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, and Sumatra
  • Diet: Herbivore – leaves, shoots, and aquatic plants
  • Size: 6 to 8 feet long
  • Weight: 500 to 800 pounds
Tapir Tapir Tapir
Malayan Tapir

Care & Conservation

How we care for them

At the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, we are bringing together our passion for plants and animals with our dedication to taking and inspiring action to sustain wildlife and wild places.
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facts about our animals

Fun Facts about Malayan Tapirs

The Malayan tapir is the world’s biggest tapir species.

Their barrel-shaped bodies help them to move through heavy brush.

Female tapirs are usually larger than male tapirs.

Tapirs are typically solitary creatures.

Their trunks can be used as snorkels when they are in the water.

A juvenile tapir has stripes and spots.

Malayan Tapir


How you can help

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Plan your visit

Get close to wildlife

It’s time to make some memories. Here’s everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable day at the zoo.