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They live in wetlands, forests, savanna, and rain forests, and they have a range that includes Mexico, Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia’s Malaya and Sumatra.

Tapirs like to spend a lot of time in the water, eating aquatic plants, cooling off, or washing away skin parasites. They can stay underwater for several minutes. Even youngsters are able to swim when just a few days old. Primarily active at dawn and dusk when it’s cooler, many tapirs are active throughout the night, foraging for grasses, plants, and fruits.

After a 13-month gestation period, a single tapir baby (twins are rare), called a calf, is born while the mother stands. The calf’s eyes are open, and it can stand one or two hours after birth.

Tapir calves can swim at a very young age. Young tapirs nurse as long as the mother provides milk or until her next calf is born.

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