Friday, September 25, 2009
Ten special mountain tapirs
This piece was made in Colombia for the Tapir Preservation Fund by researcher/artist Sergio Sandoval. We have only 10 available as I write this on September 25, 2009. WE PROBABLY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET ANY MORE due to new laws about testing of paint and plastics on any item that could be construed as a child's toy. Sergio would be happy to make more tapirs for us, but we don't know how Customs will view this item if we were to import them. We could call them a collector's item or figurine, but if the Customs Department believes they could be considered a toy suitable for a child 12 or under (and they are made of a durable plastic material), each shipment would be required to enter the country with a certificate of testing that would cost about $1800.00. The actual materials are safe, and the paint is a non-toxic paint made in the U.S. We imported these tapirs before testing was required. Unfortunately, we don't think we will be able to do it again. We do expect to continue to import wood carvings and other art from tapir range countries including Colombia - items that are clearly not for use by children.
Your purchase helps us support tapir conservation in the field.
Our Mountain Tapir Replica/Figurine
This realistic-looking mountain tapir is made of strong resin (you would almost think it was ceramic) and it stands firmly on its 14-toed feet. It is black in color with white highlights along the ears and around the mouth. "Mamadanta" (mother tapir) is 4 1/4 inches long and 2 3/8 inches tall. She shows distinctive and accurate detail of the fur and toes, as she was made by Tapir Specialist Sergio Sandoval of Colombia. Our mountain tapir figurine has an affectionate expression and makes an excellent gift or toy for children or adults and could work well for school show-and-tell or as a school science project. It may also become a valued item in anyone's tapir or animal collection. Check out our other tapir toys and gifts.
About Mountain Tapirs
The mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) is the rarest of all the tapir species with only about 2,500 left in the world. It is also the smallest in size and the only one that lives outside of tropical rainforests. It ranges high in the Andes of South America, exclusively in Colombia, Ecaudor and Northern Peru, where it spends long solitary hours, sleeping or nibbling fruits and leaves. The adult mountain tapir, called "danta" in Colombia, weighs about 300-500 pounds, has a woolly coat and white along its ear tips and around its mouth. Like other tapirs, it has a flexible nose or proboscis. It has four toes on the front feet and three toes on the back feet. The mountain tapir has been driven nearly into extinction by habitat loss and wanton hunting. Successful breeding programs exist at the Los Angeles Zoo and Colorado Springs' Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.