This World Tapir Day, held annually on April 27th, Watsons Malaysia together with Pocotee & Friends and The Ecotourism & Conservation Society of Malaysia (ECOMY) celebrated the special day by raising awareness to protect the endangered animal.
Tapirs are large, herbivorous mammals, similar in shape to a pig, with a short prehensile nose trunk and signature black and white colouring. They inhabit in the jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeastern Asia.
Due to deforestation and the increasing number of palm oil plantations, the remaining 2,500 Malayan Tapirs are seriously facing extinction.
We Hug Tapir is the second campaign under Watsons’ new line of products called NATURALS by Watsons.
The campaign has raised a total of RM30,524 through a nationwide effort in collaboration with Pocotee & Friends and the Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY).
Not only was this event an effort to ensure the Tapirs are safe from extinction, it was also to safeguard the next generation’s exposure to a diverse wildlife.
The donation was raised through selling the Naturals by Watsons line which was inspired by nature. For every item sold, RM1 went towards the campaign which ran from March 27th until April 23rd, 2018.
Co-founder/Chief Executive Officer of The Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY), Andrew Sebastian, explained all of the donations made will be given to a specially designed environmental education programme for school children at Taman Negara National Park which is also the home of the Malayan Tapirs.
The General Manager and Country Head of Watsons Malaysia, Caryn Loh, said:
“At Watsons, we believe in playing a key role in making a positive impact on the conservation of wildlife and the environment.
“In our second consecutive year, we are privileged to partner with Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY) to channel our contributions towards the “We Hug Tapir” campaign.”
“We took this opportunity to educate our shoppers in creating awareness on the Malayan Tapir, a species that is facing endangerment due to its habitat threatened by human commercial activities.
“A special thank you goes out to all our Watson shoppers who have purchased the Naturals by Watsons products range during the campaign and helped raise the funds representing a collective effort in saving the tapirs.”
A Day With Nature and Tapirs was held at the River Dusun Wildlife Reserve where select guests were treated to an up-close and personal encounter with the Tapirs to understand them better.
Guests were also given the opportunity to plant jackfruit trees which leaves are the Tapirs’ favourite food.
To some, 2,500 Tapirs may seem like a pretty big number but not at the rate they are producing offspring. Gestation for this species takes about 390 days which is more than a year!
This makes it all the more important for us to ensure we do not lose another species. Let us do our parts too keep animals from going extinct.