“This is an exciting birth for the Bronx Zoo and our visitors,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President and General Director of WCS’s Zoos and Aquarium. “To watch the young gelada race around the hillside, jumping and interacting with the adults is an experience not to be missed. It is an inspiring sight that transports you to the East African highlands.”
Mother, Fayloa gave birth to the male gelada baboon in the fall. Over winter he spent time bonding with mum and the pair are now on exhibit in the Baboon reserve habitat. At birth the young gelada baboon weighed just 460g. As an adult he may weigh up to 65lb (29kg).
Currently the times he spends on exhibit at the Baboon Reserve varies day by day as result of weather, temperature and other factors. The geladas share their habitat with Nubian ibex a species of mountain goat with long horns and the rock hyrax a small mammal that is related to the elephant but looks nothing like one.
Geladas are also known as “bleeding heart baboons” in reference to the red patch of skin on their chest. On females this becomes more prominent during the breeding season so males are attracted to them. On the back of males is a flowing cape of long hair.
Geladas are unique among primates in being graminivores meaning they feed on grass. The males have gigantic canines which help when displaying to other males.
Photo Credit: Wildlife Conservation System/ Julie Maher