This is a secretive and silent animal takes its name from the Sulawesi word for 'buffalo'.

The anoa is almost never seen in the forest – its main aim in life is to be invisible. Being able to stay silent as an animal that tends to be on its own, is safer in the forest than being part of a herd where disturbance is more likely and cover blown.

Studying the anoa behaviour in the wild is difficult since they are almost impossible to see. As soon as someone steps into the forest some animal – usually a bird – gives out an alarm call and the anoa is alerted. 

The population of this animal has declined significantly and the major threats are hunting and habitat loss. Their favoured habitat of lowland forest is often cleared for rice paddies.

They are hunted for their desirable meat which is sold at local markets. The meat is described as fiery or hot and men believe eating the meat of this powerful, horned animal will give them prowess. 

The anoa has been called the ‘demon of the forest’ as it is rumoured that they come out of the forest at night like demons and use their horns to puncture cattle.

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Interesting facts

IUCN Status Endangered
Where they live Sulawesi, Indonesia
Habitat Lowland forest.
Size up to 37cm tall
Threats Loss of habitat and hunting
Scientific Name Bubalus depressicornis