During a recent dinner run, Scott was driving the 4-wheeler down a sanctuary road heading towards Rana, to deliver her evening meal. He was moving relatively quickly, because no one else was near, and he wanted to finish up before things got dark. As he was driving, he caught something out of the corner of his eye, and it was George the tapir running at full speed, making his familiar cricket-like call. Scott slowed down a bit and George ran directly in front of him, leading Scott down the road. George eventually began following Scott again, but still at a rapid pace.
This is not normal behavior for George or any other tapir, even though he is the rescue-and-release animal that we see most frequently. As we have mentioned before, sometimes rescue animals will return when they need medical care, because they know this is a safe place. Rehabilitated wildlife seem to have an intuition to go to a familiar place if they need help.
We aren’t exactly sure of the reason behind his recent neediness, but it’s possible that something outside the habitat is currently frightening him, so he decided he wanted to be near the humans he knows. He wasn’t as frequent a visitor until last year’s wildfire, when he began making recurring appearances – but the attention-seeking contact with us is not something he’s done before.
Generally, we do not encourage contact with animals who have been released back into the wild. But, in George’s case, there may be some unknown situation that is clearly bothersome. We can only assume, though we don’t know for sure, that something is wrong, although he does not appear to have any injuries. So, for now, he is getting a bit of a free pass – but it is not our intention for this to be a permanent arrangement. Hopefully he will become more secure and be able to return to his normal routine soon.
Video of George, eventually wandering off into the habitat
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Carol saysJuly 29, 2021 at 2:10 pm
Awwww. Poor Georgie! I feel sorry for him if he is frightened and needs to feel safe with you guys. Wish he had a girlfriend he could hang with.
Anna Kircher saysJuly 29, 2021 at 2:12 pm
First, fingers crossed that whatever brought George back to you is temporary and will be totally resolved soon.
Second, we don’t often get a clear view of elephant poop. Not surprisingly, huge!! 🙂 Do you collect poop piles to keep the yards clean, or do you let weather and insects take care of them?
Sara saysJuly 29, 2021 at 3:10 pm
We don’t generally get big piles of poo, since elephants are often on the move. But the yards do get cleaned out regularly. It makes great fertilizer!
Shannon saysJuly 29, 2021 at 2:20 pm
Charming post. “George the Tapir and His Unusual Behavior” sounds like a children’s book title. 🙂
Alana saysJuly 29, 2021 at 3:37 pm
Bridget Long saysJuly 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm
He’s taller than I thought he would be. What a cool being!
Sara saysJuly 29, 2021 at 4:10 pm
They are tanks!
Deb Moore saysJuly 29, 2021 at 4:42 pm
Hmmmm. He may have run into a predator or even got chased. Poor guy. Probably has his reasons.
Julie saysJuly 29, 2021 at 4:50 pm
Thanks for the cool video. George is a handsome guy. I don’t know why I’ve never wondered about this before. Are there natural predators in the area, big cats, wolves, coyotes?
Sara saysJuly 29, 2021 at 5:30 pm
There are some big cats in the area, but we’re not sure what he may have come into contact with.
Linda saysJuly 29, 2021 at 5:02 pm
Sadly, I still can’t get any videos on the website 🙁 I hope all is ok with George!
Sara saysJuly 29, 2021 at 5:28 pm
I’m sorry. They do seem to be working for everyone else. Perhaps you could try a different browser.
Here’s a direct link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyfVuJxc-0Y
Sunny saysJuly 29, 2021 at 5:15 pm
Poor little buddy. He deserves free pass 🙂
Sara saysJuly 29, 2021 at 5:27 pm
Ideally, it would be best if he were to return to his natural home. We hope he’ll make the transition again eventually.
Beji saysJuly 29, 2021 at 5:34 pm
Maybe he just missed the girls???
SHEILA saysJuly 29, 2021 at 11:22 pm
I THINK SOMETHING HAS SCARED GEORGE‼️ARE THERE ANY JUNGLE PREDATORS IN THE AREA LIKE 🐆 LEOPARDS? BIG SNAKES🐍
WELL GEORGE COULD JUST BE BEING FRIENDLY AND HE LIKES SCOTT! PERHAPS HE JUST WANTED TO RIDE IN HE FOUR-WHEELER❓ I GUESS TIME WILL TELL WHATS GOING IN WITH GEORGE! GEORGE IS COOL👍
Sara saysJuly 30, 2021 at 11:06 am
There are some big cats in the area, so it’s possible that could have something to do with it. We might never know.
Wim saysJuly 30, 2021 at 3:20 am
Just visiting old friends now where are they today?
Hope you’re healthy and safe dear George! ❤️
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George the Tapir and His Unusual Behavior