Head and body length, 170-200 cm; shoulder height, 77-106 cm; tail, 8 cm
Uknown; populations declining
Most often found in river areas in moist lowland rainforests
Brazil Venezuela Argentina Paraguay Bolivia Ecuador Peru
This noise is nothing to sniff at. Blessed with a prehensile proboscis, the South African tapir takes full advantage of it to pick fruit, strip leaves, "snorkel" while swimming and even whistle to call for mates. The solitary herbivore often lifts its nose as though sniffing for trouble on the wind, and only breaks its cover at dawn and dusk. But this natural caution is foiled by its habit of always taking the same path to its feeding grounds, creating a trail that betrays its presence. Poaching, persistent habitat loss and fatal run-ins with vehicles on dark roads all combine to throw the tapir's survival into serious question.