Asia, by and large, is known for its unusual cultural traditions, rich history and exquisite cuisine. There is so much to see and do in the lands that come together to form Asia. Countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have enthralled us with their sights and sounds.
Perhaps they owe their magic to the flora and fauna too, which have enriched these Asian nations as much as their other traits have.
Here are 5 must-see animals of Southeast Asia.
A large animal with the general appearance of a pig (with a peculiar longish snout), the tapir inhabits the jungles of Southeast Asia. Tapirs are quite strong, but this is hardly surprising considering their close relation to rhinoceroses. They have distinct oval, white-tipped ears and stubby tails.
The orangutan is native to Indonesia and Malaysia. It is known to be one of the most intelligent primate. Orangutans use a variety of sophisticated tools and construct elaborate nests each night from branches and foliage. The apes have been extensively studied for their learning abilities.
Chevrotains, also known as mouse-deer, are found in the forests of Southeast Asia. The word chevrotain is French, and can be translated as “little goat”. The Telugu name for the Indian spotted chevrotain is jarini pandi, which literally means “a deer and a pig”, which is appropriate as this little animal does resemble both animals. It is the smallest member of the deer family.
With a hide as thick as a tractor tyre, this herbivore is now an endangered species. Although more commonly associated with Africa, these animals are also found in Southeast Asia. Their horns are believed to be of great medicinal value, a reason for which they have been poached widely in the past.
Leatherback turtles are the largest of the sea turtles, and they are also highly endangered because their favourite food is jellyfish, and floating plastic bags can highly resemble jellyfish. These majestic animals which spend most of their time in the sea will come to the shores of Indonesia and Malaysia to lay their eggs. Lucky divers have been known to spot them in coral reeds too.
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