Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve
Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve (TMNR), formerly known as Society Hall Nature Reserve, was private land donated to the Government of Belize in 1975. TMNR was officially declared a Nature Reserve in December 1986 under the National Parks System Act. and was leased to Belize Audubon Society for 99 years in 1990. According to the National Parks System Act of 1981, a Nature Reserve is any area reserved as a scientific reserve for the protection of nature, be it biological communities or species. TMNR offers opportunities for scientific research, training and education activities.
The Baird's tapir is Belize's National Animal and known locally as the "Mountain Cow." It is the largest terrestrial mammal in Central America, weighing as much as 875 lbs. Related to the horse, this thick-skinned herbivore feeds on leaves, twigs, fruits and seeds. Its sight may be poor, but it senses of smell and hearing are excellent. The tapir's most prominent feature is its trunk-like protruding upper lip, which can be used for plucking leaves. They usually live nearstreams and rivers and bathe daily, and also use water to escape from predators.