Babirusa Facts

Babirusa Facts
Babirusa is a member of the pig family. It is also very closely related to Hippopotamuses. Babirusa can be found on several islands of Indonesia: Sulawesi, Togian and Moluccan. Populations on all three islands have several unique characteristics and scientists often classified them as three separate subspecies: Sulawesi, Togian babirusa and the Moluccan babirusa. All of them prefer life in the rainforests and moist, swampy forests. Main threats to the survival of all babirusas are habitat loss and hunting. These animals are listed as vulnerable (nearly endangered).
Interesting Babirusa Facts:
Babirusa can reach 3 to 3.7 feet in length and weigh up to 220 pounds. Tail is usually 10.5 to 12.5 inches long. Males are larger than females.
Babirusa has grey to brown, wrinkled skin that is sparsely covered with briskly hair. It has very thin and long legs.
Babirusa has slender snout, small ears and two pair of tusks. Tusks are enlarged lower and upper canines in males. Tusks can be 12 inches long. Upper canines grow through the upper lip and curve toward the eyes.
Exact role of tusks is not known. Scientists believe that babirusa use its lower tusks for the fight with other males, while upper tusks serve as a shield which prevents eye injuries.
Tusks grow continuously. If they are not worn out or broken during a lifetime, upper tusks can pierce the skull.
Unlike males, upper tusks of females have normal size or they are completely absent.
Males are solitary creatures, while females live in small groups composed of adult females and their offspring. Group usually consists of 8 animals. Members of the group communicate via grunts and moans.
Babirusa is an omnivore (eats both plants and meat). It usually eats leaves, fruit, berries, nuts, mushrooms. Using the hooves, babirusa digs a ground to find insect larva and insects. It also eats small animals and carrion.
Babirusa is excellent swimmer. It can travel from island to island to find new food sources.
Babirusa is also the fastest animal in the family of pigs. It can run as fast as the deer.
Babirusa has excellent sense of smell and hearing that are used for finding food and avoidance of predators.
Just like all pigs, babirusa enjoys to wallow on the ground. Rolling in the soil ensures cleaning of the parasites.
Mating season lasts from January to August. Fight between males precedes mating. Pregnancy in females lasts 155 to 158 days and ends with one or two piglets.
Babies drink mother's milk for the first 6 to 8 months of their life. They will enrich their diet with solid food 10 days after birth. Babirusas become sexually mature after one or two years.
Average lifespan of babirusa is up to 10 years in the wild and up to 24 years in captivity.

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