Adelaide Zoo excitedly welcomed a baby Hamadryas Baboon to their family. Born in the early hours of October 27, the infant is the second offspring born to parents Chappi and Horus.
Soon after the birth, Adelaide Zoo Primate Keeper, Pij Olijnyk, said, “The baby is suckling well and clinging tightly to mum. Both Chappi and Horus are doing a wonderful job looking after their newest family member. The little one is already keeping mum busy, as it becomes aware of its surroundings.”
For now the baby is under the care and protection of mum, Chappi. Once the baby becomes old enough, 2-year-old brother Tomkay will be introduced, and keepers are sure he will be “over the moon” to have a new playmate.
The sex of the baby is yet to be confirmed.
The Zoo reports that the new addition is on public display with the rest of the harem, and zookeepers are continuing to monitor them closely.
The Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas) is a species of baboon from the Old World monkey family. It is the northernmost of all the baboons, being native to the Horn of Africa and the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. These regions provide habitats with the advantage for this species of fewer natural predators than central or southern Africa where other baboons reside. The Hamadryas Baboon was a sacred animal to the ancient Egyptians and appears in various roles in ancient Egyptian religion, hence its alternative name of 'sacred baboon'.
Although they are currently only classified as “Least Concern” by the IUCN, wild populations are under pressure with their habitat being converted into farmland.
The Hamadryas Baboon is omnivorous and is adapted to its relatively dry habitat. During the wet seasons, the baboon feeds on a variety of foods, including: blossoms, seeds, grasses, wild roots, and leaves from acacia trees. During the dry season, the baboons eat leaves. They are also known to eat insects, reptiles and small mammals.
Baboons live in multi-level societies in the wild, with as many as 800 baboons in one area. An adult male dominates his harem with up to 10 females.