Baboon Facts



  • Baboons’ feet are more suited to walking than grabbing branches.
  • Some East African baboons cooperate in hunting and killing small antelopes, but are unwilling to share the catch.
  • Male Hamadryas baboons herd their females all the time to keep them from other males.
  • The olive baboons of the East African highlands live in troops of up to 140 individuals.
  • When old male Hamadryas baboons are defeated by younger males, they lose weight, and their distinctive grey mantle changes to the color of the females’ hair. Olive baboons are group dwellers, but male young are driven off to join other troops when they reach maturity.
  • The male mandrill has a bright blue and red face for attracting females.
  • Chacma baboons, which are found in the far south of Africa, often enter water to feed on water plants or shellfish.
  • For their first few weeks, baby baboons hang upside down from their mother’s chest, but by 4 or 5 months they are riding on her back, like jockeys.
  • The ancient Egyptians sometimes trained Hamadryas baboons to harvest figs.
  • Baboons in South Africa’s Kruger National Park will risk electric fence shocks to steal food from tourists.
  • Olive baboon males fighting over females will enlist the help of a third male.