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South American (Brazilian) Tapir

With that bizarre nose and body shape, Tapirs are instantly recognizable. They have a prehistoric look to them and indeed have been around for 55 million years. Primarily a new world group, fossils have been found all the way from Ellesmere Island to Patagonia. Three living species still roam the Neotropics, from Mexico to Argentina. Interestingly, there is a fourth and strikingly patterned extant species in south-east Asia as well.

Of the four surviving tapir species, the South American or Lowland Tapir (Tapir terrestris) is by far the most widespread and numerous. Sadly, being amongst the largest animals throughout their range, tapirs have been heavily persecuted almost anywhere they live. Happily, there are still some sites, especially in Brazil, where they are well protected, and one stands an excellent chance of encountering these amazing animals.

Our Wildlife of the Amazon and Pantanal tour visits the very best places for observing Lowland Tapir. Firstly, we will head into the Amazon, expecting multiple sightings of these during our time along the Cristalino River. We hope to see animals on the riverside gathering clay and expect to see them entering the cool river during the heat of the day, twitching that bizarre nose around like a snorkel as they go! Secondly, we will head to the plains and woods of the Pantanal. Although this is a very different setting, because of the easy access to water and protection of the species, this area offers us another excellent chance for Tapir viewing.

Come join us on this incredible tour, where we expect to see not only Tapirs but the very best of South American mammal viewing, with great chances for Jaguar, Giant Anteater, Giant Otter, Ocelot and numerous primate species amongst so much more.

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