North Sulawesi Babirusa

North Sulawesi Babirusa     Babyrousa celebensis

Type of Animal:
Wild Pig

Tropical rainforest, shores of rivers/lakes, moist swamp forest

Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Lembeh, Buton, & Muna

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.

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:

Breeding from zoos, wildlife parks & breeding centers

Related sows found in small groups of 2-8, boars solitary though some boars stay w/ sows & piglets.

Additional Info:


Male-198 lbs
Female-132 lbs
Young-10 lbs

5.3 months

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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