Two Baby Baboons Born at Oakland Zoo

Baby boy 2
Two Hamadryas Baboons were born just 19 days apart at the Oakland Zoo. The babies, a male and a female, are half-siblings and share the same father but have different mothers.
Baby boy 1

_F9A2601Photo Credit:  Oakland Zoo

The female baboon, who was born on March 14, is named “Kabili,” which means honest and brave in Swahili. The male baby was born on April 1 and has not yet been named.  

The Oakland Zoo has two troops of baboons, and keepers report that the youngsters are being well-received by other group members. Senior Keeper Adrienne Mrsny said, “The siblings are very curious about the new babies and with the mothers’ permissions will look at the babies, often trying to groom or play with them. Kabili is living up to her name (Swahili for brave) by following her much older sisters in climbing and walking around to explore the exhibit. The baby male spends much of his time gazing at the world around him as he holds onto his mom; he took his first steps during his second day on exhibit.”

Hamadryas baboons live in complex social groups. An adult male will have several females in his “harem” which he will protect in exchange for exclusive breeding rights. The females will develop relationships as well and assist each other with child rearing. While the males are not as involved as the females in rearing the infants, they are good fathers who will protect their offspring and as they get older they will sometimes play with them or otherwise allow them to join in their activities. 

Hamadryas baboons are native to Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In the wild, baboons congregate in very large groups to sleep at night. During the day, they separate into smaller groups to forage for food. In ancient times, Hamadryas baboons were worshipped by Egyptians as the incarnation of the god Thoth, who is often depicted with the head of a baboon.

NaturZoo Rheine Welcomes Gelada Baby


NaturZoo Rheine, in Germany, is excited to share news of the arrival of their newest Gelada Baboon baby.



Gelada_NaturZooRheine_1Photo Credits: Eva Bruns / NaturZoo Rheine

The baby was born October 13th and is the sixth Gelada Baboon birth, this year, at the zoo.  The new birth brings the total number of Geladas, currently kept at NaturZoo, to 65.  The zoo has the largest group of this unique primate species of any zoo worldwide.

For more than 20 years, NaturZoo Rheine has kept the international studbook for the Gelada Baboon. By the end of 2013, a total of 303 Geladas were living in 21 zoos across Europe, which are all part of a European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), managed by NaturZoo. 

The Gelada Baboon is native to the Ethiopian Highlands of Africa and spends much of their time, in the wild, foraging in grasslands. They are currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, but their populations have reduced from an estimated 440,000 in the 1970s to around 200,000 in 2008.  Major threats to the Gelada, in the wild, are a reduction of their range as a result of agricultural expansion and shooting of them as crop pests. Threats that once existed, but no longer do, are trapping for uses as laboratory animals and killing them to uses in making clothing.

The sex of the new baby is still unknown, but keepers are crossing their fingers for a female.  Geladas prefer a ‘harem-like’ social unit, consisting of one adult male and several females, with their offspring. Currently, there is a surplus of males within the zoo’s roster, and a new female would not only even the playing field, but provide a viable candidate for the future of the breeding program.

More amazing pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "NaturZoo Rheine Welcomes Gelada Baby" »

Baby Baboon Mimi Is Teething At Oakland Zoo


Oakland Zoo has so many adorable pictures of their new baby Hamadryas Baboon, Mimi, that they decided to post one every day this week on their Facebook page:

Oakland Zoo gives the baby Baboons baby toys like stuffed animals and baby teething toys and also baby rubber toys to give them something to chew on when they are teething. The infants teeth start to appear within 5 days of birth!



10469068_10154419886380228_8583844285846561387_oPhoto credit: Dannielle Stith

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

Continue reading "Bundle of Good News for Last Surviving Baboon Species " »

Rare Red-haired Babooon!

Baby Red Baboon explores with mom 1b

On January 26, Israel's Ramat Gan Safari announced the birth of a rare, adorable red-haired baby girl. Just like humans, the gene for red hair amongst Hamadryas Baboons is recessive and it was exactly 30 years ago when the last red-haired baboon was born at the old Tel Aviv Zoo. Mom's name is "Scud" as she was born 20 years ago during the Gulf War.

While Scud's rank within the group is not very high, this new baby strengthens her position. The dominant male now spends a lot of time grooming her. He is very curious about the baby girl but Scud is cautious. When he tries to touch the baby, Scud relocates and keeps her distance.

Baby face close-up

Baby Red Baboon reaches for momPhoto credits: Tibor Jäger 

Continue reading "Rare Red-haired Babooon! " »