Malayan Tapir


Conservation Status: ENDANGERED

The Malayan tapir, also known as the Asian Tapir, is the largest of the five species of tapir and the only one native to Asia. In the Malay language, the tapir is commonly referred to as cipantenuk or badak tampung. 

The Juvenile Malayan tapir (as shown in the left of the drawing) has brown hair with white stripes and spots, which enables to hide more effectively in the dappled lights of the forest. After six to seven months, however, the baby coat fades into adult coloration(as shown on the right of the drawing). Malayan Tapirs are commonly found in the jungles of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Malayan tapirs are herbivores that are active mainly during twilight. Although they have a poor eyesight, tapirs carry on their everyday lives with their excellent sense of smelling and hearing. They are also solitary creatures that mark out large tracts of land as their territory by spraying urine on plants.

When threatened or frightened, the tapir can run quickly in spite of its large body size and can also defend itself with its strong jaws and sharp teeth. However, its numbers have decreased in recent years, and, like all other tapirs, it is in danger of extinction due to deforestation and habitat loss.


  1. “Tapirus Indicus (Asian Tapir, Asiatic Tapir, Indian Tapir, Malayan Tapir, Malay Tapir)”. Iucnredlist.Org, Accessed 18 Dec 2016.
  2. “7 Animals In Southeast Asia You Should Not Miss | GOASEAN”. GOASEAN, Accessed 18 Dec 2016.

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