June 25, 2011

The Baby Baboon

Apes, primates, monkeys whatever name you call them these beautiful dangerous animals are some of the most dangerous animals in the wild. Its not just their sheer numbers which make baboons to be feared by animals such as the leopard or even the lion, its the way these baboons like to dare tease and in the long run chase intruders from their breeding grounds as well as their feeding natural habitat as well. A lot of people who go to Africa on a safari have been able to capture these beautiful baboon son videos and beautiful photographs of baboons with their families whether on the roads or just watching these baboons hanging from tree tops to another in search of food and once in a while looking for food from tourist who would also want to take good amazing photographs of baboons.

Baboons are some of the amazing animals found in Africa. These beautiful dangerous apes have been able to intimidate dangerous big cats while in the wilderness such as the leopard and the cheetah as well. Despite the fact that these animals always share the same natural habitat. Baboons just like any other great apes of Africa are animals which earn their own respects with their sheer numbers. Baboons are very social animals while in the wild. Like any other social animal, baboons share the same habitat with other monkeys and and primates as well whether in the dangerous forests of Asia, the African Savannah Grasslands or in any part of Australia Europe and America. No where in the world would you find the highest number of baboons other than the East african region. The population of baboons is the highest in Africa. While these baboons are always hunted for their bush meat, they are also feared by many people who have encounters with baboons as they will always attack people even without being provoked.

Swahili Name:  Nyani
Scientific Name:  Olive baboon (Papiocynocephalus anubis); yellow baboon (Papio ynocephalus cynocephalus)
Size:   14 to 30 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 50 to 100 pounds
Lifespan:   20 to 30 years
Habitat:   Savannas and woodlands
Diet:    Omnivorous
Gestation:  6 months
Predators:Humans, leopards, cheetahs

If you think the African elephant is the most intelligent animal in the African Savannah or the mountain gorillas are the most brilliant apes as far as intelligence is concerned, in fact you find that baboons are some of the most intelligent animals in the world. The baboon, of all the primates is found  in East Africa mostly Kenya Uganda and Tanzania where you have all the big game composed of the African big five animals and the beautiful dangerous African Savannah cats and these African baboons mostly frequently interact with people and all those African safari loving animals as well.  

Apart from humans, baboons are the most adaptable of the ground-dwelling primates and live in a wide variety of habitats. Whether they are baboons found in the Sahara deserts or baboons found in the Kalahari deserts these beautiful dangerous apes can live in any natural habitat not just for feeding grounds and for breeding habitat but areas where they can reside. In many natural  habitats where these baboon species live its a fact that there have always been animal attacks cases regarding baboons. Conflict between man and these beautiful dangerous animals has always been there in many parts or  areas that baboons live, they have always been in constant attacks with man as they have always been on the destruction in many of the farmers agricultural products. 

Because the local people find these baboons in their neighborhood everyday, people normally don't pay attention to these baboons. Accidents have always been caused on power lines and at times have put people in harms way as far as protection and conservation of these baboons is concerned. baboons are very intelligent creatures and people should not underestimate what they can do and what they cant do. As intelligent and crafty these beautiful but dangerous animals can be agricultural pests and in may parts of Africa  they are treated as vermin rather than wildlife.

The Baboon Physical Characteristics
Are there many baboon species in the world? What are the kinds of baboons found in different parts of the world? Like any other kind of primate and ape species, there  are two most common types of baboons that are found in the different natural habitats of  East Africa, the olive baboon and the yellow baboon. The larger and darker olive baboon is found in Uganda, west and central Kenya and northern Tanzania. Smaller, more slender and lighter in colour, the yellow baboon inhabits southern and coastal Kenya and Tanzania. Both types are "dogfaced," but the yellow's nose turns up more than the olive's. Does that mean baboons look like dogs? or is it a way of identifying baboons with other animals so that it becomes easy to give information about baboons and the exact baboon species that someone is talking about. 

Well that being said. its always easy to see these beautiful animals in many animal photographs that have been taken. Some people always find baboons to be very funny animals while some people say baboon babies look very cute while some say that if you want to see a weird animal, well a baboon is just one of them. Just remember that these beautiful creatures are always pretty in one way or another and despite their plight of being vulnerable and being in conflict with man, its great pictures that people take about baboons that help save these beautiful babies of dangerous apes, primates and monkeys as well. 

This is just one animal attack news incident which involved a baboons as the cause of attack:

February 12 2006.  Brian Hayward. iol news Zambia. Brutal baboon attacks raise concern. http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/brutal-baboon-attacks-raise-concern-1.266182#.UF1T6LKPWR4

Concern is mounting after two recent baboon attacks left a four-year-old Cape Town boy and a 42-year-old Eastern Cape man critically injured.

Experts have warned that urban development is increasingly encroaching on the natural habitat of baboons and that a lack of planning around baboons and their habits is causing an increase in the number of confrontations with humans.

In one incident, Alexandria resident Mtimkulu Manseli, 42, was attacked while walking home after visiting his brother, who lives nearby.

Manseli, who is still recovering at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth two weeks after the horrific attack, was returning home to Kwanonqebela township when he was attacked by a lone baboon.

"It was about 8.30pm and out of the blue the baboon jumped out of the bush and tried to get at my neck," said a still shaken Manseli.

As the baboon was attacking him, a truck drove up and frightened it away. The driver then called for an ambulance. Manseli's forearms were ripped to the bone from trying to fend off the vicious animal.

One of the baboon's teeth was later removed from Manseli's arm during surgery.

Dr Elmarie Matthews, who assisted in operating on Manseli, said the tissue damage was immense. "I've never seen anything like that before. It was quite a gruesome injury," she said.

In the most recent incident, a baboon attacked a four-year-old boy in Kogel Bay near Gordon's Bay last weekend, seriously injuring him.

Luciano Adams apparently became caught up in a fight between two male baboons who were foraging for food from dustbins at a picnic spot.

Internationally renowned primatologist David Gaynor said places where conflict with baboons arose tended to be in areas where they were fed.

Based in Nieu-Bethesda, where he conducts his research and environmental consulting, Gaynor said many of the problems with baboons were to do with the primates rummaging for food at refuse dumps which were usually close to homes, or at game lodges where the baboons tended to pull the thatch out of the lodge roofs.

"Many of the problems are a result of urbanisation. As a result of this the baboon population had been declining, mainly due to the culling of male baboons," Gaynor said.

Johannesburg-based Karen Wentworth, South African representative of the International Primate and Exotic Animal Association, said the problems people were experiencing with baboons were self-inflicted. "A lot of the problems come from people feeding the primates.

They (primates) will take food wherever they can get it, and will go back to that place for more," she said.

"They become less afraid of humans and it lessens their wildness, which is when they cause problems."

Cape Nature baboon management team head Melikhaya Pantsi said it was important for people to be cautious when dealing with baboons.

"It is very rare that a baboon would attack a human being. They might jump on you to grab what they think is food, but they are generally not aggressive," he said.

But Graeme Young, conservationist at the Ndlambe conservation department in Port Alfred, said it was not unheard of for baboons to attack humans without provocation.

Sometimes older males were kicked out of their troop and became aggressive towards humans as they scavenged for food on their own, he said.

"We've had reports of an old male baboon that has spent up to three weeks a year disturbing residents in Port Alfred - running through gardens and rummaging through rubbish bins."

Jenny Trethowan, of Cape Town-based baboon monitoring project Baboon Matters, said attacks on humans were usually not the fault of the baboon.

"When you unpack the attack, usually the person has done something wrong."

Trethowan warned that the "exponential rate of urbanisation" was leading to urban development encroaching on the natural habitat of the baboons.

"Unless people make an effort to make their homes unattractive to baboons, we will encounter problems," she said.

This meant not having open refuse bins or plant matter which might be food for the baboons.

The Baboon Habitat
Baboons just like any other apes found in East Africa are found  in many different kinds of habitats and are extremely adaptable to any natural conditions of the African savannah both as feeding grounds and breeding grounds. As some of the most important wildlife of Africa and especially the wildlife of East Africa these beautiful tree climbing creatures play a very important part in the Savannah ecosystem and the food chain as well. Whether its nuts from the different trees found in Africa or just different varieties of leaves, shoots or plants that baboons feed on, these baboons contribute in the food chain as when one baboon is attacked by a lion, the rest of the animals found in the lions habitat also benefit. Hyenas, jackals  vultures all benefit as well. Fruits that are eaten by these baboons are consequently dispersed and as a result a continuation of the already depleted forest of these African countries as well.

These baboons interact with other animals in their natural habitat and in return make use of what is available or left by other animals as well. The most important requirements for any habitat for baboons is water sources and safe sleeping places in either on the ground, in tall trees or on cliff faces as is already the case in many of the African Savannah habitat. With plenty of water in many parts of the African continent from streams, rivers and lakes, baboons drink every day or two times in a day, but they can survive for long periods by licking the night dew from their fur. If lions and other big cats can do it, these intelligent baboons have discovered the secrets of nature and how to survive the dangerous conditions of being in the wild and specially the dangerous forest of Africa and the Savannah land as well.

The Baboon's Behavior
Out in captivity and in the wilderness, baboons usually leave their sleeping places around 7 or 8 a.m. After coming down from their cliffs or trees, these social apes and specially the adult baboons  sit in small groups grooming each other while the juveniles play. When all these baboon greeting is over with, the baboon family forms a cohesive unit that moves off to look for its food in the jungle in a column of two or three. 

These baboons will keep on walking until they begin feeding. Fanning out, these baboons will feed as they move along, often travelling five or six miles a day. When he day is perfect and uneventful from other natural predators, these baboons will  forage for about three hours in the morning, rest during the heat of the day and then forage again in the afternoon before returning to their sleeping places by about 6 p.m. Just like any other mammals natural animal instincts, these great beautiful animals just before going to sleep will spend more time in mutual grooming, a key way of forming bonds among individuals as well as keeping the baboons clean and free of external parasites which is one way of surviving in this natural habitat where survival is for the fittest.

Have you ever been chased by a monkey? Well how a bout a baboon chasing you? Not just one baboon but a sizable number r of baboons. As part of nature and survival of the baboon species when baboons wake up from  sleeping, they would travel, feed and socialise together in groups of about 50 individuals. This baboon family is just one large family you wouldn't want to mess with while you are out there in the wilderness. With many of the different baboon consisting of seven to eight males and approximately twice as many females plus their young. 

These family units of female baboons, juveniles and infants form the stable core of a troop, with a ranking system that elevates certain female baboons as leaders. A troop's home range is well-defined but does not appear to have territorial borders. It often overlaps with the range of other baboons, but the troops seem to avoid meeting one another.

When baboons begin to mature, males leave their natal troops and move in and out of other troops. Frequent fights break out to determine dominance over access to females or meat. The ranking of these male baboons constantly changes during this period.

Male baboons are accepted into new troops slowly, usually by developing "friendships" with different female baboons around the edge of a troop. They often help to defend a female and her offspring.

Diet for the Baboon
Baboons are opportunistic omnivores and selective feeders that carefully choose their food. Grass makes up a large part of the baboon's diet, along with berries, seeds, pods, blossoms, leaves, roots, bark and sap from a variety of plants. Baboons also eat insects and small quantities of meat, such as fish, shellfish, hares, birds, vervet monkeys and young, small antelopes. Its amazing to note that in the wild, baboons can attack any animal which is small and so long as they can be able to hunt it down, that will just make a perfect supplement for the baboon's diet as well.

Caring for the Young
The most beautiful baby baboon ridding on its mothers back animal picture
For the first month, an infant baboon stays in very close contact with its mother. Baboons are some of the most secretive creatures as far as their young ones are concerned. It is always very rare to get good baby baboon pictures while out there in the wild unless a person really spends a lot of time in the baboon habitat in order to get the perfect moment when these baboons are eating or just drinking water in order to get good quality shots of a baboon with its family or a baboon with its baby on its back. A few good photographers have managed to capture these beautiful animals and have sent home good images which will last for ever and its with good pictures which come with good information about baboons and the plight of baboons as well. Growing old in the wild as far as a baby baboon is concerned comes with daily efforts of clinging to the mother and having to ride day in and day out and sometimes male baboons tend to be offensive. The mother baboon carries the infant next to her stomach as she travels, holding it with one hand. By the time the young baboon is 5 to 6 weeks old the baby baboon can ride on her back, hanging on by all four limbs; in a few months it rides jockey style, sitting upright. Between 4 and 6 months the young baboon begins to spend most of its time with other juveniles.

The baboon Predators
Do baboons really have predators? Why should such beautiful powerful apes have predators? I sit because they are not big enough or is it because they are small like dogs? The baboon's major predators are humans. Humans in many parts of Africa have hunted these baboons down not because they eat or destroy their crops and property, manhas been able to hunt baboons and use them for their meat. As bush meed which some believe has some special owers, it is always common tosee many of the baboon meet being sold in some of the villages in Africa where baboon meet is a delicasy as well. 
beautiful male baboon "dog Head"

At the same time Knowing that humans can easily kill or injure them when they are in trees, baboons usually escape through undergrowth. Males may confront other predators like leopards or cheetahs by forming a line and strutting in a threatening manner while baring their large canines and screaming. Baboons are fierce fighters, but a demonstration such as this can put the predator on the run.

Fun facts about Baboons: Did you know?
Beautiful cute little baby baboon animal picture
Are there albino baboons or blond baboons? How about golden baboons? 
As a very unique animal and a rare species among the apes, nearly one-half the size of adult male baboons, female baboons lack the male's ruff (long hairs around the neck), but otherwise they are similar in appearance.
Baboons use over 30 vocalizations ranging from grunts to barks to screams. Nonvocal gestures include yawns, lip smacking and shoulder shrugging.

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Baby baboon drinking water not aware of any dangerous
predators that might be lingering around
Baby baboon eating and grooming time

1 comment:

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