Olive Baboon

There are five species of baboons. The two most common species, olive baboons and yellow baboons, live in East Africa. Olive baboons and humans share 91% similar DNA.


These monkeys live in large groups being sometimes up to 150 members strong. A group of baboons is often referred to as a troop or congress.Each baboon has a social ranking somewhere in the group, depending on its dominance. Female dominance is hereditary, with daughters having nearly the same rank as their mothers, and adult females forming the core of the social system. Female relatives form their own subgroups in the troop. Related females are largely friendly to each other. They tend to stay close together and groom one another, and team up in aggressive encounters within the troop. Female kin form these strong bonds because they do not emigrate from their natal groups. Males establish their dominance more forcefully than females. A male disperses, or leaves his natal group and joins another group, after reaching sexual maturity. Adult males are very competitive with each other and fight for access to females. Higher dominance means better access to mating and earlier access to food, so naturally a great deal of fighting over rank occurs, with younger males constantly trying to rise in position. Because females stay with their groups their entire lives, and males emigrate to others, often a new male challenges an older one for dominance.Frequently, when older baboons drop in the social hierarchy, they move to another tribe.The younger males who pushed them down often bully and harass them. Older males tend to have more supportive and equal relationships than those of the younger males. The former may form coalitions against the latter.


Despite being hierarchical, baboons appear to be "democratic" when it comes to deciding the direction of collective movement. Individuals are more likely to follow when multiple decision-makers agree on what direction to go rather than simply following dominant individuals.


Large males can weigh up to 50 Kg and have canines that can be larger than that of lions. They are omnivorous creatures. They can hunt down small prey when food is scarce.They are highly aggressive and intelligent monkeys. They use their brains and sharp canines whenever the situation demands improvisation. By day they forage around on the ground but at night they sleep in the trees or up in the rocks to avoid predators.The main predators of Olive Baboons are lions, leopards, african wild dogs, hyenas and crocodiles.


Olive baboons communicate with various vocalizations and facial expressions. Throughout the day, baboons of all ages emit the "basic grunt". Adults give a range of calls. The "roargrunt" is made by adult males displaying to each other. The "cough-bark", and the "cough geck" are made when low-flying birds or humans they do not know are sighted. A "wa-hoo" call is made in response to predators or neighbouring groups at night and during stressful situations.


The females are receptive for mating one week per month. They have a gestation period of 180 days after which 1 infant will be born. For 1 month the infant will stay in close contact with is mother. From 4 - 6 months old it will start to spend most of its time with other juveniles within the troop and it will be weaned when it reaches 14 months old. When a male baboon reaches 4 years old it will leave the troop, but a female will stay with the troop it was born into.