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