International Tapir Day

Malay tapirs

Malay tapirs Photo: BIOPARC

Saturday April 27, marked International Tapir Day, a day to raise awareness of the threatened situation of this curious animal.

Currently, four species of tapir inhabit our planet and all of them are in danger of extinction. One of them, the Malayan tapir, can be admired at BIOPARC Fuengirola, the only conservation centre in Spain working to protect it.

Despite its large size and the fact that it has existed for millions of years, today its survival depends on the preservation of its natural habitat and the conservation work carried out in centres such as Bioparc Fuengirola.

The Malayan tapir was first listed as endangered in 1986, due to a continuing decline caused by loss of available habitat and increasing hunting pressure. According to estimates by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), its population has declined by 50 per cent in the last 30 years.

Today there are barely more than 2,000 tapirs left, 45 of them in zoos that are working to protect them including Bioparc Fuengirola which currently houses Mekong and Rawa, a pair of Malayan tapirs and the zoo continues to work on the reproduction of this scarce species, with the hope of being able to contribute to increasing their numbers in the near future.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.