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WHAT IS A BABOON?


Baboons are only found in Africa. They are the best adapted of all monkeys to a terrestrial life. Baboons live in a wide range of habitats including open habitats. But they require rocky cliffs or tall trees to sleep in at night and access to water. Only a few are forest dwellers, such as the Guinea baboon from West Africa. A baboon has a lifespan of up to 20 to 30 years in captivity.



Baboons eat a wide variety of food, generally whatever is in abundance. They prefer fruit, but when this is not available, will eat less nutritious but abundant food.














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Baboons are active during the day. Their limbs are well adapted to running fast on all fours in a rocking horse gallop. They walk in an awkward swaggering manner. Although baboons spend most of their time foraging on the ground, they all retire in trees or high up on steep-sided cliffs to sleep, safe from predators like the leopard. So they can also climb well.

In fact, the availability of safe sleeping sites is the limiting factor to troop size. Because their food is so sparsely distributed, baboons often travel long distances, about 6-20 km a day on a home range of up to 60 sq km. Because they share their sleeping site and often their foraging home ground too, baboons are not territorial, although subgroups avoid each other as they forage.

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