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Olive Baboons of Masai Mara

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

Olive baboon (Papio anubis), also called the Anubis baboon, is a member of the family Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys). The olive baboon lives in groups of 15 to 150, made up of a few males, many females, and their babies. Each baboon has a social ranking somewhere in the group, depending on its dominance.

One major reason for its widespread success is that the olive baboon is omnivorous. The diet typically includes a large variety of plants, and invertebrates and small mammals, as well as birds. The olive baboon eat leaves, grass, seeds, roots, bark, flowers, fruit, lichens, tubers, seeds, mushrooms, corms, lizards, turtles, birds fish, frogs, eggs. The olive baboon also actively hunts prey, from small rodents and hares to foxes and other primates. Its limit is usually small antelope, such as Thomson's gazelle.

They eat whatever they can find. They shuffle with their hands and feet through the grass while they move or sit, in order to flush out a possible meal.

We were lucky to see a huge group of them while they were eating freshly killed gazelle fawn. Interestingly when one baboon (A) used to eat, there was always another baboon (B) who used to keep a watch and get rid of other baboons who wanted a share so that Baboon A can feast in peace. We were wondering why these baboons are sacrificing their meal to support the other one, until we realised it was a chain! When Baboon A is done with eating, he passes the meal to Baboon B and someone else starts protecting him, hoping that the meal will be passed down to them.

Shot at Masai Mara, Kenya in September 2019 Hope to see these intelligent primates once again in 2020!

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