The majority of the time when you come across a baboon he is resting, feeding, socializing or traveling. This is especially true of adults
Social behavior in baboons is complex and individuals communicate in many different ways. As I have mentioned in earlier articles grooming is a very important social activity that creates and maintains social bonds between individuals. Another form of social behavior seen most often among young baboons is play.
In our Kinda baboon group in Kasanka National Park the small ones are very precocious. Tumbling, climbing, jumping, chasing, wrestling and mock biting. I never grow tired of watching them. It is exciting to watch the new infants start to gain independence from their mothers and play with one another. We have four small infants that are very similar in age, Nona, Oliver, Robin, and Kamikazi. In July they were clinging to their mothers. Now they are climbing trees, hanging from branches and interacting with older infants and juveniles. From the pictures and this video clip you can see how much fun they have.
Play behavior allows young baboons to practice adult behavior and form close bonds with other individuals in their age-classes. Bonds created by individuals at young ages grow stronger with time an remain through adulthood.
Click here to access Kasanka Baboon Project Website
Coming next: meet our team and our baboons. We have managed to name a number of group members and their personalities are showing through.