Police and game wardens are now questioning several people in the Penal area after a 500-pound female tapir was spotted wandering in the village of Ramjattan Trace, Penal on Monday morning.
According to reports, on Monday morning, residents awoke to see the animal roaming the village.
The frightened residents contacted the Agriculture and Forestry Division. Game wardens including Andy Singh and Jeremy Dindial and Penal police led by Cpl Ramdial and staff from the Emperor Valley Zoo visited the village and started searching for the tapir.
She was found in nearby bush and was put to sleep with a tranquilliser. The tapir was then taken to the zoo, in whose care it remains.
Police believe it was smuggled into TT from South America and are hoping to find those responsible. They believe the tapir may have been part of an illegal shipment but escaped.
The fine for having a protected animal without a permit is $5,000.