When Brazilian Tapir Arturo sees keeper Jess with a rake in hand he wiggles his snout in happy anticipation of a good scratch. Although they frequently live in dryland forests, tapirs with access to rivers spend a good deal of time in and underwater, feeding on soft vegetation, taking refuge from predators, and cooling off during hot periods. Tapirs near a water source will swim, sink to the bottom, and walk along the riverbed to feed, and have been known to submerge themselves under water to allow small fish to pick parasites off their bulky bodies. Along with freshwater lounging, tapirs often wallow in mud pits, which also help to keep them cool and free of insects.
Tapir Enjoying Scratches From a Rake