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Bundle of Good News for Last Surviving Baboon Species


Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury in England is home to three Gelada Baboons – one male, named Agolo, and two females named Jima and Sereba. Keepers were thrilled when they discovered that Sereba had been successfully mated by Agolo resulting in the birth of a male baby named Leena. Agolo and Sereba have proved themselves to be very successful parents while Jima has taken on the role of Aunt to help out hardworking Mum and Dad.

Primate Keeper Jamie Wharton said: “It’s great watching Leena investigate his open-top enclosure and graze with his parents. As he gets older he will develop an impressive mane like his father.”  As the male Gelada develop they grow a mantle (a mane of hair) that surrounds their head and neck.

Neil Spooner, Animal Director, said “These baboons are quite unique in that they are the last surviving species of grass grazing primates. To have a successful birth is great news for the future.”



Photo Credit: Dave Rolfe

Geladas are not true baboons. They are the last surviving species of a once widespread group of grass-grazing primates and are the only surviving member of their genus. They can only be found in Ethopia in rocky highland habitat and are listed as least concern on the IUCN Red list of endangered species.
The Gelada baboons will live in large groups consisting of one male and several females with their young. Females give birth to a single offspring after a gestation period of five months.