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Thirteen tapirs lounge in the bushes of Ticuantepe Zoo, in eastern Nicaragua, their bellies plump with leaves and fruit -- blissfully unaware of the peril faced by their kind.Human encroachment and climate change have decimated the woodland habitat of the Baird's tapir, one of five species left in the world, and, along with human and feline predators, have helped wipe out 16 other tapir species.Pamka and his fellow herbivores are among no more than 800 of the species left in Nicaragua. Three of the females are pregnant, including Rosita, a 12-year-old tapir, and Pueblana, nine years old.Across all of Central America, there are an estimated 3,000 Baird's tapirs left, according to environmental preservation organizations.Sacasa said that the tapir is one of 28 mammals threatened by damage to Nicaragua's ecosystem.That project, which calls for works along 278 kilometers (173 miles), would affect 17 vulnerable species including the tapir, according to an environmental impact report carried out by the company, HKND.
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