In addition to its robust body, an adult tapir can reach weights from 50 to 300 kilos. Despite its size, it is a shy and difficult animal to observe in the field, but it can move easily within the forest, especially on overgrown paths. Tapirs have been said to confront humans when their young are in danger.
This mammal is distributed from Panama to Veracruz, Mexico, and inhabits the entire national territory, from sea level to 3,000 or 3,500 meters. Currently its presence is wide ranging, in the Guanacaste National Parks, Rincón de la Vieja, the Arenal-Monteverde Forest Complex, San Ramón Forest Reserve, the Braulio Carrillo National Parks, Corcovado, Tortuguero and the Amistad Biosphere Reserve.