Zoo Krefeld

Tapir House

South America's fascinating wildlife

The bright red roof shingles of the ocher-coloured hacienda attract visitors from afar. Welcome to the wildlife of South America!

Three of the most interesting representatives of the largest herbivores in South America live in the Tapir House. The Tapir House was built in hacienda style to represent a traditional farm house: lowland tapirs, capybaras and guanacos. The lowland tapir, for example, belongs to an ancient and now endangered species. They reach a shoulder height of over a metre and have a very flexible trunk-like nose, ideal for their preferred soft vegetable diet. The vegetarians share the enclosure with the continent's largest bird, the rhea, which can reach a height of 1.40 metres.

In Brief

  • Lowland tapirs, rheas, guanacos, capybaras
  • Araucaria (South American conifer)
  • Watching capybaras and tapirs swim
  • Short video - Young Tapirs

The natural environment of the animals is very diverse. The South American pampas presents itself as an open habitat with few trees, dominated by grasses and herbs that are used for food by the specialised vegetarians. Large rodents such as the capybara graze in the lower levels. These are normally found in the vicinity of swamps, lakes and rivers. Lowland tapirs live in the adjacent forest areas while herds of guanacos and vicugnas graze in the heights of the Andes. They belong to the so-called "New World camels" and differ from "Old World camels" in their smaller size and missing humps.