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 large waterfall, a series of small pools, and a large pool for them to fully submerge in. The exhibit also has lush green landscaping and 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 only 2,500 to 3,000 remaining 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, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has the only proven breeding female, which is why breeding efforts at the Zoo are so important.
Over the last few years, the Zoo attempted an artificial insemination and even swapped male tapirs with the LA Zoo to see if Carlotta and a younger male, Cofan, would be more successful. The Zoo is hopeful about Carlotta and Cofan’s future and cautiously optimistic about the potential for a future tapir baby.