I'm posting these photos today to take part in James's Weekend Reflections, but I've been meaning to post them for some time. It's not often that you get to see a tapir eye this closely. The glass-fronted enclosure allows you to see the tapirs very close much of the time. The white blobs on the right side of the second photo are unfocused reflections of a "T is for Tapir" t-shirt, white on black, although the tapir on the shirt is a different species (Baird's tapir) from the one in the photos above (Malayan tapir).
I also find it so strange and somehow both comforting and frightening to look at an animal's eye this closely. How can we think of harming, neglecting, killing, or eradicating an animal who looks out of something that reminds us so much of our own eyes? We are kindred. How can we think otherwise?