31 January 2012

Official dude

The tapir is the official animal of Belize. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any better shots of these fellows, you don't want to get too close because they spray. But I do find them cute in their own way. Photo taken in December 2011.


  1. I've only seen them in zoos and I think they were too far away to spray. How does one become an "official" animal? And can an official animal become de-officialized?

    Just curious... :-)

  2. I would not say that he is particularly cuddly but a very interesting animal. I have only seen photos in books so glad to know his relationship to Belize.


  3. Lowell, this one was made official by Sharon Matola, the founding director of the zoo who is a magnificent conservationist. She worked with the government of Belize to make the tapir the official national animal in an effort to raise awareness. Halcyon, please don't apologize about the angle! I think it's good to see this animal from various angles because most people are still unfamiliar with them. I enjoyed seeing it from this direction. By the way, while they do sometimes spray, and do sometimes hit people, for all the hours I've stood and watched tapirs I've never been sprayed at. I think I only know have heard from one or two people who have ever been sprayed, and one of them was a mega tapir fan on her honeymoon in London! I wonder if the Belize zoo at one time had a tapir that was fond of spraying people. Usually they simply don't.


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