Billie’s no longer the baby!

DZG’s Gelada baboon, Billie, has written back to his adopted ‘dad’, Conservationist and TV Presenter, Bill Oddie, with some exciting news from Baboons on the Bank…

Dear Uncle Bill,

It’s Billie here, your adopted DZG Gelada baboon and namesake.

I just wanted to let you know that I’m no longer the baby baboon on the bank, as I’ve got a newborn sibling!


I don’t know yet if it’s a brother or a sister, as it was only born on October 22 to my auntie Tana and dad, Ebano and I’ve heard keepers say that it will be a while until they can confirm its sex, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for a brother to play with! Just think of all the fun and games we can have together tearing around our hillside enclosure.


The baby is very small and cute and is the second ever gelada baboon to be born here at DZG in its 77-year history (after me of course!), so keepers are delighted to have two babies born within four months of each other.


I’ve been trying very hard to get a good look at the new arrival, which is proving to be a bit difficult at the moment, as it’s currently nestled on auntie Tana’s stomach.

But I’ve discovered that if I jump on her back I can peek over her shoulder at the baby and luckily she doesn’t mind carrying the two of us around, although I always go back to my mum, Addis when I’m hungry.

Anyway Uncle Bill, thank you for so much for my letter, which you sent me after opening our new £20,000 home on August 25 – it was read out loud to me by the zoo’s media and comms team, who helped me write this letter back to you so you’re up-to date on all our news. 

Please visit us again soon, when I’ll introduce you to the little one!

Lots of love,

Billie, aged four months! X


Geladas – the last surviving species of grazing primate – originate from the Ethiopian highlands and are also known as bleeding heart baboons due to the bare patch of red skin on their chests.

Read Conservationist and TV Presenter, Bill Oddie’s chatty letter to Billie, by clicking here.