Babirusa, Prehistoric Looking Animal Native To Indonesia
Babirusa is a unique animal belonging to the swine family and is commonly found in the Wallace region in Indonesia, especially on the islands of Buru, Sula, Togian and Sulawesi. This animal has a prehistoric appearance that makes it different from other animals. Plus four unusual tusks that grow from the mouth and also nose and curve inward which are still a mystery until now about the function of them.
re than 50 species of rabbits and hares. Oryctolagus cuniculus is a European rabbit that became the forerunner of a pet rabbit.
Appearance And Lifespan
This animal is called babirusa as it looks like a combination of pigs which is seen on its head, and deer as it has four small deer-like legs. There are four species of babirusa in Indonesia, the most famous of which is Babyrousa celebensis which is found in Sulawesi with naked appearance without fur and tusk. While other babirusa species have long coat feathers with colors ranging from golden beige, black to brown. Babirusa is a big fond of many kind of fruits, leaves, nuts, fish and mammalian meat.
Generally in the wild, the average life span of babirusa is 10 years, but when they live in zoos, their age can exceed 20 years. Reportedly, babirusa at the zoo are normally very lively and enjoy interaction with humans. They show their enthusiasm by shaking their tails, nodding their heads and jumping or running around when there are some people around.
Regarding the function of the tusks, it is still uncertain until today. The initial hypothesis suggested that the tusks were used for fighting, but when considering how the babirusa fights, the hypothesis becomes implausible. Babirusa fights by standing with their hind legs and attacking enemies with their front hooves. Usually their tusks are quite fragile and can get broken easily, thus they are not suitable for fighting. The possibility of its function as an accessory to attract female babirusa, although this argument has never been proven.
Conservation And Distribution
Sulawesi Island was first inhabited by humans around 30 thousand years ago, and since then humans began hunting babirusa for consumption. When humans began to explore the area, perhaps they also brought babirusa with them so that these animals were also found on several other islands in Indonesia.
From the 1980s to the 1990s, babirusa habitat declined due to massive hunting, especially with deforestation providing easier access for poachers. In 1978 it was estimated that the number of habitats was less than 4.000, then in 1989 there was pressure from Pigs and Peccaries Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) to protect babirusa habitat, one of its programs by conservation in the zoo, and also make protected areas in the wild. In Sumatra there are now a number of protected forest areas that are meant to be a conservation sanctuary for babirusa, however, there is still a need for public awareness to help maintain and preserve these unique animals that are native habitat of Indonesia.
Babirusa can now also be found in many zoos both in Europe and America. But to see their native habitat in the wild, only in Indonesia can they be found.
While your visit to Bali Safari Marine park, you will see this animal at the beginning of our safari journey. Prepare your camera to shoot this creature and keep on your camera.