Information On Babirusas

 

Babirusas Information
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Babirusa

Length of Head and Body: 35-43 inches; tail, 8-12 inches.

Habitat and Range: moist forests and edges of rivers and lakes on Celebes and nearby islands of Indonesia.

On some islands of Indonesia lives a wild hog like animal with curved tusks that grow right through the skin. Some of the islanders think the tusks look like a deer's antlers. So they call the animal babirusa, which means "pig-deer".

The babirusa is a distant cousin of the farm pig.

Before a female babirusa gives birth, she prepares a nest in a hidden place. One or two young are born after a gestation period of about five months. Most other members of the pig family have larger litters. At birth the young are only about eight inches long. Many other wild hogs are born with striped skin, the young babirusa are born with unmarked, smooth skin.

Aside from the tusks, a babirusa looks alot like a farm pig. But its legs are longer than a pigs. An adult babirusa can measure longer than 3 feet and weigh as much as 220 pounds.

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The babirusa have small ears, but their hearing is quite good. Since they feed and move around in the dark, their good hearing serves them well.

Like other members of the pig family, the babirusa like to wallow in the mud.

Sometimes they swim to other islands to feed on fallen fruit, shoots, leaves, water plants, and insect larvae found in rotten tree trunks.

The Future of the Babirusa

Adult babirusa have few, if any, natural predators, though pythons (Python reticulatus and P. molurus) and Sulawesi civet (Macrogalidia musschenbroecki) may predate younger animals.Indeed, given the small litter size, babirusa appear unadapted to a high rate of predation; having evolved in a more or less predator-free environment, babirusa appear to be especially vulnerable to hunting pressure. However, hunting by humans with nets, spears and dogs has undoubtedly been an important factor since prehistoric times. Continued hunting pressure now constitutes an increasingly important threat to the remaining populations of these animals in some areas.

In recent years large-scale commercial logging operations have also posed a major and increasingly serious threat to this species. It has been reported that babirusa are one of the first animals to become locally extinct after logging or land opening, which not only deprives them of their moist forest habitat but may also increase their exposure to hunting pressure by immigrant settlers and their dogs.

 


 


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