Facts about this animal
The babirusa is a medium-sized, relatively long-legged pig with a long snout, and a long and thin tail. In males and some females the upturned, curved upper canines grow through the skin. The head-body length is 85-110 cm, the shoulder height 65-80 cm. The weight up to 100 kg. Females are smaller than males and have much smaller canines. The skin is grey or brownish-grey. They have sparse, grey of white bristles, depending on the subspecies. Some subspecies look naked. The gestation lasts five months and the litter size is one, two or rarely three. The female has two pairs of mammae.
Did you know?
that the male babirusa's lower tusks do not self-sharpen against the upper canines as in other pigs? The males must sharpen their lower tusks by rubbing them on trees. These lower canines are used in an offensive manner, while the curled upper tusks probably act as a defensive shield.
|Name (Scientific)||Babyrousa babyrussa|
|Local names||Bahasa: babirusa|
|CITES Status||Appendix I|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Wild population||Approx.: 5'000|
|Zoo population||100 reported to ISIS|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 74 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations, should be followed.
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Why do zoos keep this animal
The babirusa is a vulnerable species and its habitat is dwindling and deteriorating. With a view of building up an ex situ insurance population an International Studbook was set up in 1987 under the WAZA umbrella, and zoos maintain now a self-sustained population managed by AZA and EAZA under regional conservation breeding programmes.
The babirusa is a very conspicuous, unusually looking animal and makes a good ambassador species for its threatened habitat the rainforest of Sulawesi.