North Sulawesi Babirusa

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.
 

1 thought on “North Sulawesi Babirusa

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