ANIMAL: North Sulawesi Babirusa Babyrousa celebensis Type of Animal: Wild Pig Habitat: Tropical rainforest, shores of rivers/lakes, moist swamp forest Location(s): Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Lembeh, Buton, & Muna Appearance: Boars have long upper canine tusks curving backward over front of face w/ lower canines growing in front of face. Tusks almost absent in sows. Gray coloration w/ pinkish belly on both sexes. Food/Diet: Leaves, fruit, berries, roots, insect larvae, seeds, nuts, tubers, carrion, invertebrates, buds, grass, small vertebrates, eggs. Cannibalism reported on newborn piglets by strange males. Status in Wild: Threatened Conservation: Breeding from zoos, wildlife parks & breeding centers Lifestyle: Related sows found in small groups of 2-8, boars solitary though some boars stay w/ sows & piglets. Additional Info: Called: Male-Boar Female-Sow Young-Piglet Group-Sounder Weight: Male-198 lbs Female-132 lbs Young-10 lbs Gestation: 5.3 months Height: Male-2.6 ft Female-2.13 ft Body Length: Male-3.6 ft Female-3.3 ft Life Span: 10 years in wild, up to 24 years in captivity Tail Length: 0.95 ft Main predators of adults are pythons & feral dogs. Civets & occasionally, strange male babirusa, prey on piglets. Sexually mature at 10 months old. Threatened due to logging, habitat loss, hunting for meat/sport/tusks, persecution as crop pests, & forest fires. Male piglets stay w/ mom for 8-10 months. Female piglets stay for longer, sometimes for life. Unlike other pigs, only 1-2 piglets per litter. Fights between boars sometimes lead to death due to injuries inflicted by lower tusks. Upper tusks serve mostly for display. They clatter teeth when excited & communicate by low grunts/moans. They’re rather fast animals. They wallow to get rid of insects/parasites. They sharpen their lower tusks on trees. Fun Fact(s): Indonesian people have based masks on Babirusa’s appearance & even give dead ones as gifts. Known to be very flighty/nervous, though moms will attack if piglets threatened. Some dispute between Jews/Muslims whether these animals kosher or not, since it has cloven hooves & 4-chambered stomach like a ruminant but it’s a pig. Babirusa means “pig-deer” in Indonesian, referring to boar’s tusks being suggestive of deer antlers. Also some dispute whether these animals more related to pigs or to hippos.
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