Male Sulawesi babirusas are typically solitary animals, sometimes forming small bachelor herds of 2 to 3 members. Female babirusas usually live in groups consisting of 8 individuals and their young. They spend most of their day foraging and wallowing, and they communicate with one another by grunting, moaning, and teeth-clacking.
Male babirusa have large tusks that are actually upper canines that grow through the top of their snout. These tusks have little to no function as they are too small and brittle to be used for anything. If fighting does occur however, a boxing-like technique is usually the strategy. They will stand on their hind legs and use their front hooves to defend and attack.
Babirusa means “pig deer” in Malay. The name is based on their slender legs and the antler-like appearance of the males’ tusks.