The babirusa is a rare, enigmatic tusked pig found only in Sulawesi (formerly the Celebes) and nowhere else in the world. Weighing up to 100 kilograms it is found only in rain forest and is seriously endangered as a result of the loss of its habitat.
The males have extraordinary tusks which develop from their canine teeth, growing up through the skull and growing in a curve until it pierces the skull again between the eyes.
The Babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) is the last remaining species in the Babyrousinae family. Literally translated from the Malay language, Babirusa means “pig-deer”. Because of their odd appearance, the Babirusa has been the subject of many mystical stories and legends, including one that states that they hang from trees at night by their tusks.
The babirusa is only found on a few Indonesian islands: Sulawesi, Togian, Sulu and Burn Islands.
The babirusa is listed as Vulnerable, following increased hunting and habitat loss over the last 20 years or more. Despite protection, illegal poaching continues and only a few thousand individuals are left.