Location: Across from Encounter Africa, on the way to Monkey Pavilion.
Our tapir area boasts a lot of water (mountain tapirs love water). Aquatic features include a waterfall, a series of small pools, and a pool where they can fully submerge. The exhibit also has lots of rocky and flat spaces for the tapirs to explore.
Mountain tapirs are the most critically endangered species of tapir. Experts estimate there are fewer than 2,000 remaining in in the Andes Mountains in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, where they’re found in the wild. They are rare in zoos, too. Only two zoos in the United States have mountain tapirs – Los Angeles Zoo and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. There are only seven tapirs between the two zoos.
Because mountain tapirs are critically endangered, CMZoo staff (with the support of CMZoo members) have collaborated on conservation efforts with the Andean Bear Foundation and Smithsonian National Zoo.
Twice since 2017, CMZoo staff have traveled to the mountains of Ecuador to track and GPS-collar wild mountain tapirs. The goal is to present tapir location data to organizations that can place land protections in the areas where tapirs most frequently roam.