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Five lively baby baboons are turning the Baboon Lookout exhibit into a playground!
The Hamadryas Baboon baby boom is continuing!
It began in May 2015, when the female Juju was born: the first baboon birth at Melbourne Zoo for 15 years!
Then there were three births more in 2017.
Now yet another baby has joined the trip.
Mahali makes five!
Juju is now two years old, and she will turn three in May.
The male Melako was born in May 2017.
The female Quasi, was born in August 2017.
The female Gana was born in December 2017.
The female Mahali was born to mother Macey on February 11.
The Hamadryas Baboons live in the custom-designed Baboon Lookout, opened in 2011.
Opening Baboon Lookout provided a spacious new environment for the group, and it also enabled the Zoo to demolish the old and outdated baboon facility to clear the site for construction of the new Growing Wild development, specifically designed to engage young visitors with the wonders of wildlife.
Melbourne Zoo Director Kevin Tanner explains that connecting visitors to wildlife is the first step in gaining their support for the Zoo’s conservation campaigns.
As an African species, baboons are Ambassadors for the Zoos Victoria Beads for Wildlife conservation campaign, which helps Kenyan women support their families by selling their beautiful beadwork in the zoo shops and online.
That income reduces pressure on families to expand their domestic herds, which directly compete with wildlife for the scarce water and feed in the harsh conditions in Kenya.
Hamadryas Baboons are a near-threatened species, classified as Red List by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). They are native to Somalia, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, living in a range of habitats including grasslands, arid sub-desert, and rocky hill country.