Lowland Anoa

(Babalus depressicornis)

Habitat and Distribution: Found exclusively in lowland forests and swamps in the northern part of Sulawesi (an Indonesian island).

Size: 5-6 feet long; 3-6 feet tall; 200-500 pounds. Horns are 18-37 inches long.

Wild Diet: Grasses, ferns, palm, ginger, fallen fruit, aquatic plants, and leaves

Predators: Humans; young anoa are also prey to pythons and civets

Reproduction: Lowland anoa are ready to mate at 2-3 years of age. There is no known breeding season, but females are in heat for 24 hours every 22-23 days. Gestation is about 10 months and usually results in one calf, although twins have been born in zoos.

Behavior: Lowland anoa spend most of their time alone (unlike most wild cattle) but are sometimes found in pairs or very small groups. They are most active during the early morning and early evening. They are excellent swimmers and often wallow in mud or water, using shaded and swampy areas to keep cool during hot days.

Conservation

IUCN Status: Endangered

Lowland anoa are still hunted illegally in unprotected forests and in conservation areas. Humans often clear forested areas and drain marshlands for agriculture (often for palm oil plantations) when settling in new areas, which shrinks the habitat of the lowland anoa.

Did you know?

  • Lowland anoa help control forest undergrowth by feeding on grasses and plants.
  • They use their sharp horns for protection, but can also hold them against their backs when crashing through forest undergrowth to avoid becoming entangled.
  • Although they look like goats, they are a small species of buffalo.