The answer to the Tanda Tula’s #trackitthursday challenge this week is… the chacma baboon!
With a few mixed answers, including the human, this week the challenge was a little easier.
With tracks resembling that of another interesting animal, the human, chacma baboons are primarily omnivorous, are found in surprisingly varied habitats and are extremely adaptable. They generally prefer semi-arid habitats but some live in tropical forests.
The life of a baboon is not easy, being prey to leopards, cheetahs and other predators, and as such they will not be shy to flash their large canine teeth to make their intentions known. They spend most of their day on the ground, but with very good hearing and eyesight will quickly move into the trees in the presence of a predator. When a predator is detected, male baboons give a loud bark warning the troop.
With safety in numbers, baboons live in troops of 15 to 80, 90, 100 and even more.
Grooming is an important social interaction activity that is used to form and strengthen relationships among troop members, where male to female grooming may form short-term relationship during courtships, and females may interact with each other to gain acceptance.
Playing an important role in the spreading of seeds and soil aeration, baboons feed on seeds, wild fruits, insects, and at times scorpions and the flesh of small birds and mammals.
As Tanda Tula Safari Camp is unfenced and open to the bush, baboon troops often pass through the camp and can be seen jumping from tree to tree, making great photo opportunities for guests.