Babirusa, genus Babyrousa
This wild pig, whose name means “pig deer”, is native to the islands of Indonesia. There are currently four recognized species, though up until 2002 they were classified under a single species name. All babirusas are found in tropical rainforest and swampy forest habitats. They are strong swimmers and prefer to live near water; they have been known to cross wide rivers and seas to get to small islands. They are omnivorous but mostly eat vegetation, such as leaves, roots, fruits and berries. They also search for insect larvae in rotting trees.
Male babirusa sport two distinctive sets of tusks, which are the animal’s enlarged upper and lower canines.The lower set is used in fights over territory or mates, while the upper set shields the animal’s eyes. The structure of the tusks varies between species. The tusks grow continuously and if they are not constantly worn down by everyday use, they will continue to curve inward until they penetrate the babirusa’s skull. Females’ tusks are small or absent.
Babirusas have no natural predators but are threatened by poaching and habitat destruction.(x)(x)