It's not every day we share with you news of goings-on in the primate world, but today's not any day. Sydney's newest zoo has welcomed the arrival of not one, but three baby baboons to its troops over the last few months. All are hamadryas baboons, all are female, and all have been born to first-time mothers.
Sydney Zoo, based in Bungarribee in western Sydney, reports that the baby baboons have been welcomed into the fold of their primate family quickly, and are active, inquisitive, and settling in well with the support of their mothers. They've already begun practicing positive behaviours, like grooming and suckling, which is an encouraging sign for the long-term health and development of the little ones. The youngest, born to mother Zuri, arrived just three weeks ago, while the other two were born over the last two months.
The hamadryas baboon species originates from the Horn of Africa, and have been dubbed 'sacred baboons' because they were the subject of worship by ancient Egyptians. Unfortunately for the three females, hamadryas baboons are unusual among baboons and macaques due to the strictly patriarchal organisation of their societies – in many other baboon species, women take the charge. The arrival of the three babies makes for a total of 16 baboons at Sydney Zoo.
While the zoo is currently closed to visitors, visitors will be able to drop by and visit the baboons once it opens again. They, along with other primate species are housed over in Sydney Zoo's dedicated Primate Boulevard, a promenade surrounded by elaborate habitats in which chimpanzees, spider monkeys, orangutans and baboons frolick and play as humans walk by.