Mountain Tapir. These are rare, endangered tapirs that live in the highlands of South America.
They overlap with the ranges of Spectacled Bears and favor the same cloud forests and paramo
environments. Mountain Tapir are smaller than most species of tapir and are more furry and
have white fur around the mouth. This one has unusual hairloss on it's backside as you can see.
Normally that area would be dark fur as well. For many years, it was thought to be extremely
difficult to see one in the wild. But for no apparent reason, this female tapir began hanging out near
an eco-lodge just outside Cayambe-Coca National Park in Ecuador. It was not being fed or anything.
It just showed up one day, found a small patch of forest it liked along the road and became
a regular sight in the area. I spent 2 weeks looking elsewhere with no luck, so I'm glad
this lovely lady was so bold. It did chase me twice but otherwise posed nicely.
Guango Lodge near Cayambe-Coca National Park, Ecuador