Belize is home to one of the unique creatures in Central America - the Tapir. This shy, herbivorous mammal is related to the horse and the rhinoceros. It is the National Animal of Belize, and it plays an essential role in the ecosystem.


Tapirs are an essential part of the ecosystem in Belize. They help to spread seeds and keep the forest floor clear of undergrowth. Tapirs are also a keystone species, which means they play a vital role in the ecosystem's health. The Tapir's gut is specially adapted to break down large seeds, which allows them to germinate and grow into new plants. This process is essential for maintaining forest biodiversity and preventing soil erosion.

Interesting Fact

The best time to see tapirs in the wild is early morning or late afternoon. During the day's heat, they often seek shelter in the shade.


There are fewer than 3300 tapirs left in Belize due to habitat loss and poaching. Its protection and preservation must be vital, so we all need to do our part in helping with the process!