World's oldest tapir dies aged 42 at Kent animal park

11082020 The world's oldest tapir which has died in Kent at the age of 42 - Credit: Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve
Kingut spent most of his life at Port Lympne animal park in Hythe. Credit: Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve

The world's oldest tapir in captivity has died at the age of 42 at an animal park in Kent.

Kingut, was born in Jakarta in January 1978, and arrived at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve in Hythe in July 1992, where he spent most of his life.

He passed away on July 6 at the ripe old age of 42 years, 5 months and 9 days.

The Malayan tapir, was the Guinness World Record holder for the oldest tapir in captivity.

Kingut was 42 years, 5 months and 9 days old when he died. Credit: Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve

In the wild, Malayan tapir are found in southern Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) and through the Malayan peninsular, and on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

They are most commonly found in dense primary rainforests where they eat grass, aquatic plants, leaves, buds, soft twigs and fruits on low growing shrubs.

A unique feature that tapir possess is its fleshy prehensile nose that it uses to grab leaves and even use as a snorkel while swimming.

Tapirs grow up to 1.8 meters long (6 feet) with the females being larger at up to 400kg and the smaller males weighing up to 350kg.

Captive tapirs typically live for 25-30 years, an age Kingut exceeded by more than a decade.