Babirusa

BabirusaBabirusa — The Babirusa or pig-deer, Babyrousa babyrussa, is a pig-like animal native to Sulawesi and surrounding islands of Indonesia. It has two pairs of large tusks; enlarged canine teeth that curve back up through the top of the snout. This species is considered endangered.

The Babirusa is native to the large eastern Indonesian island of Sulawesi and surrounding islands. Its habitat is the underbrush of tropical forests and canebrakes, and the shores of rivers and lakes. Its mostly-hairless, mottled-grey-and-brown hide provide it with a degree of camouflage. The babirusa is known for its two pairs of tusks; both its upper and its lower pairs of canine teeth are greatly enlarged, and curve up and back towards the head. The upper canines of the male babirusa are so curved and enlarged that they emerge through the flesh, by way of holes, to pass through the top of the snout.

This species is on the endangered list.

Because it is split-hooved and has a three-chambered stomach (and was thus thought to be a ruminant for a long time), there was some dispute in Halakha (Jewish law) as to whether the babirusa pig is, in fact, kosher (permitted according to Jewish dietary laws). Eventually it was found that the animal is not a true ruminant, and thus remains ‘trefe’ like other pigs.

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