Baby Baboon Joins a Big Family

Baby Baboon born 20181103-4311

Oakland Zoo is celebrating its newest addition to the Hamadryas Baboon troop, which is now three generations strong.  Adult female Mocha gave birth to a baby boy, named Mousa, on November 3.  Mousa is Mocha’s first baby and she is proving to be a great mom. Mocha’s parents, Maya and Martijn, are still part of the troop, which now includes 17 members. 

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Baby Baboon born 20181103-3145Photo Credit: Oakland Zoo


Like most Baboon mothers, Mocha brought her baby outdoors when he was just one day old. In the close-knit troop, the other members have shown continuous support and have kept an eye on Mocha and the new baby. 

“Initially, Mousa’s aunts and uncles were especially interested in Mousa and formed an entourage going everywhere that they went, never more than a foot or two away and often much closer.  At almost three weeks old, Mousa is doing great,” said Andrea Dougall, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. 

Mousa’s father, Kusa, was brought to Oakland Zoo by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to begin his own harem with the offspring of Martijn. The genetic diversity that came with Kusa’s arrival strengthens the populations of Hamadryas Baboons at AZA-accredited U.S. zoos. Oakland Zoo’s animal care staff continues to work closely with the SSP to maintain and increase genetic diversity within the troop. 

Read more and se additional photos of Mousa below.

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Gelada Baby Debuts at Bronx Zoo

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A baby Gelada has made its public debut at the Bronx Zoo. The Bronx Zoo is the only zoo in the U.S. that breeds the Gelada and is one of only two that exhibit the species.

The newest baby was born on August 30, and at only four weeks old, the infant is still clinging to mom and drawing a lot of attention from the rest of the family unit. Altogether, the group is made up of one adult male, three adult females, two juveniles, and the new baby.

“This is an exciting time with a lot of interesting dynamics and activity, with an infant and two juvenile Geladas in our troop in the Zoo’s Baboon Reserve,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President, Bronx Zoo Director, and General Director of WCS’s Zoos and Aquarium. “Being able to watch the social interactions within the group allows visitors to better understand how Gelada live in their family units and behave during the various developmental stages. It is an inspiring sight that transports you to the East African highlands.”

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4_Julie Larsen Maher_2218_Gelada Baboon and Baby_AFP_BZ_09 25 17Photo Credits: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS

The Gelada (Theropithecus gelada) is a primate that is endemic to Ethiopia. They are sometimes called “Gelada Baboons” or “Bleeding Heart Baboons” for the characteristic red patch of skin on their chests, but they are more closely related to Mangabeys.

The female’s red patch becomes more pronounced during the mating season to attract males. The males have a beautiful flowing cape of long hair on their backs that resembles a shawl.

Geladas are “graminivores” (herbivorous animal that feeds on grass). They are unique among primates in that they feed primarily on grasses. Adult males have prominent canines that they use to display to other competing males, and they communicate to each other through a wide range of vocalizations, facial gestures, and body postures.

In 2008, the IUCN classified the Gelada as “Least Concern”, although their population had reduced from an estimated 440,000 in the 1970s to around 200,000 in 2008. Major threats to the Gelada are: reduction of their range as a result of agricultural expansion and shooting as crop pests.

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Baboon Baby Joins Adelaide Zoo Harem


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.

2_14993335_1460511157310318_5556772869660905562_nPhoto Credits: Adrian Mann/ Adelaide Zoo

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.

Introducing Prospect Park Zoo’s New Hamadryas Baboon

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A Hamadryas Baboon was born at WCS’s (Wildlife Conservation Society) Prospect Park Zoo and recently made his public debut.

The male infant was born October 22nd to his 12-year-old mom, Kaia, and 23-year-old dad, Bole. This is Kaia’s second birth at the Zoo.


Prospect Park Zoo breeds Hamadryas Baboons as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) designed to enhance the genetic viability and demographic stability of animal populations in accredited zoos. The two baboons born at the zoo last year have been sent to another AZA-accredited zoo as recommended by the SSP where they will eventually start their own breeding troop.

Hamadryas Baboons (Papio hamadryas) are native to northeastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. They are large, ground-dwelling primates that are found in rocky areas and cliffs. They live in troops that typically include one dominant male and many females. They are highly social and spend much of their time grooming one another, a behavior that maintains and reinforces social bonds within the troop.

The species is an ‘Old World monkey’ and was considered a sacred animal to the ancient Egyptians.

Female baboons typically give birth after a six-month gestation, usually to a single infant. The young baboon weighs approximately 400 grams and has a black epidermis when born.

Females are the primary caretakers of offspring, but another female in the troop may also help care for the infant. Infants are given much attention by the entire troop. The dominant male will prevent other males from coming in contact with their infants and protect them from predators. He will also occasionally play with the young and carry them. The young are weaned at about one-year-old.

The Hamadryas Baboon is classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. There are currently no major range-wide threats, although the species may be at risk from habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and irrigation projects. Adults are also hunted for their skins (for ceremonial cloaks in Ethiopia). The species was formerly trapped in large numbers for medical research.

The Hamadryas Baboon exhibit is located in the Animal Lifestyles building at Prospect Park Zoo, which is also home to tamarins and marmosets (species of New World monkeys), various bird species, and Pallas cats. During inclement weather, the baboons have access to their night quarters. Mother and baby baboon may take shelter inside if it is too rainy or cold.

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS ; Video Credit: WCS

Two Baby Baboons Born at Oakland Zoo

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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!

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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!



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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

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Rare Red-haired Babooon!

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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 

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