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We Heart Tapirs

Adorable with long, flexible noses

Wild & Zoo

Around 6-8 feet long and 3 feet tall, Malayan tapirs live in the dense tropical rainforests of Myanmar (Burma), Malay Peninsula, southeast Thailand and Sumatra. Find them in the Asian Forest Sanctuary.

Watermelon coloring
to keep baby camouflaged

Malayan tapirs are known for their characteristic black and white coloring, but when they are first born, baby tapirs have a distinctive pattern of spots and stripes, kind of like a black and white watermelon!

Two Tapirs
Baku & Yuna

Looking like a cross between a panda and a pig, Malayan tapirs are just adorable. Our two tapirs Baku and Yuna are best of friends, and sometimes share habitat space. Tapirs may look quiet, but they make a lot of noise! When excited (especially by another tapir) they make sneezing hiccups, high-pitched squeals and ear-piercing whistles.

Tapirs Reunited!

Fun facts

about tapirs.
  • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium welcomed our first ever tapir calf in 2019, a boy named Kazu, Japanese for “first”. Kazu now lives at another zoo.
  • Living fossils – tapirs have been around since the Eocene.
  • Tapirs love grazing, and use their long, flexible noses for foraging and even snorkeling while they swim.
  • Tapirs find a mate by sending a high-pitched whistle out to potential partners.