Conservationist and TV Presenter, Bill Oddie will be checking out the last surviving species of grazing primates on Monday when he opens our £20,000 Baboons on the Bank, a one-acre natural hillside exhibit that is home to a family group of Gelada baboons.
Bill will also be saying hello to his namesake – seven-week-old male baboon, Billie born July 8 to mum, Addis and dad, Ebano ?the site’s first Gelada baby. The species was introduced to DZG last year. Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, said: “Bill will be officially opening our Baboons on the Bank enclosure which was constructed in-house by our Development Team and provides a natural hillside home for the five-strong Gelada group. “He is a keen supporter of DZG’s work and will be taking in a tour of the site to see our latest developments and meeting a few new arrivals during our recent baby boom – including seven-week-old Billie.” She added: “Billie is gorgeous and already very alert. He loves watching what’s going on around him and is starting to communicate with group members through facial expressions, which is how the species interacts.” Baboons on the Bank can be viewed from an indoor shelter on the lower level, at the top of the bank adjacent to the reindeer paddock or simply by soaring over them on the country’s only vintage chairlift. Geladas the last surviving species of grazing primate, and ‘shuffle feeders’ as they rarely stand to eat grass originate from the Ethiopian highlands and are also known as bleeding heart baboons due to the bare patch of red skin on their chests.