Critically Endangered Tapir Returns to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Colorado's Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is home to more than 800 animals from around the world, ranging from the smallest of scaly reptiles to massively adorable mammals.
Of this wide variety of animals currently living at the zoo in Colorado Springs, more than 30 are endangered species - including Mochi, a fuzzy and familiar face, who's back for a second stay at the world-famous location.
Mochi is just one of four mountain tapirs in the United States. The rare species is considered to be critically endangered, with only about 2,500 remaining in the wild.
Zoogoers might recognize Mochi from his previous stint at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The well-traveled tapir lived in Colorado from 2000-2014, before being transported to the LA Zoo. Now, Mochi is back to his old stomping grounds - a delight to both Cheyenne Mountain staff and visitors.
Zookeepers describe the 24-year-old tapir as very playful and curious. Mochi has access to a waterfall and a small pond in his yard and enjoys daily dips. Trees, rocks, sand, and a cozy den make up the rest of his designated area. Most of all, Mochi loves getting head scratches from his keepers.
Tapirs look a little bit like bears or anteaters, but they’re actually more closely related to horses and rhinos. In the wild, these unique mammals can be found in the tropical areas of the Andes mountains in South America. Many CMZoo staff members have traveled to Ecuador to study and raise local awareness for this rare species.
The Mountain Tapir enclosure is located across the main zoo road from Encounter Africa.
Visit Mochi and all the other amazing animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo all year round at 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road in Colorado Springs.