Babirusas eat almost everything! Their diet includes leaves, fruits, berries, nuts, bark, insects, fish, and small mammals
The tropical rainforest river banks of Sulawesi, Indonesia
Males tend to be solitary animals whilst females group together with their young!
They are members of the pig family but in Indonesia the name b(a)b(i)r(u)sa means pig deer after their unusual appearance!
Their most notable feature are their big curling tusks – which are only seen on males -however these are actually relatively fragile so, although you’d expect them to be used in combat, they are
less dangerous than they look.
They’ve been around for a long time. Cave paintings from 35,000 years ago depict these distinctive
animals and, in their native Indonesia, their ferocious, warty, horned appearance has led to the
creation by local people of demonic masks!
For many years in Sulawesi in Indonesia they were targeted by hunters for meat. Just as equal a threat to their survival now is the loss of the rainforest lands they live on, as it is taken over by farmers and developers.
As their survival in the wild is put at risk, zoo breeding programmes like ours are an important way of ensuring the species does not die out altogether. In the wild these animals live for about 10 years but do very well when protected and can live for up to 20 years when cared for by humans.
ACTION INDONESIA GLOBAL SPECIES MANAGEMENT PLANS
Chester zoo are working closely with the Action Indonesia GSMPs to achieve their 4 key goals:
• To reach a demographically and genetically healthy global population outside of their native area
• To raise awareness among zoo visitors
• To use zoo expertise to help local conservation in Indonesia
• To prioritise and support Indonesian projects