Meet baby Billie, our newest Gelada baboon.
Born on July 8 to mum, Addis and dad, Ebano, Billie is named after conservationist and TV Presenter, Bill Oddie – who is visiting DZG on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25 to open our £20,000 Baboons on the Bank exhibit.
Lower Primates Trainee Keeper, Jade Reddall, said: “Billie is gorgeous and is already very alert. He loves watching what is going on around him and is already starting to communicate with the other group members through facial expressions, which is how they interact.”
The baby also shares the half-acre natural hillside enclosure with females, Jimma and Tana, who are taking it in turns to help care for the newborn. The species was introduced to DZG last year.
Jade added: “The other females are helping to groom Billie and keep an on eye on him, but mum, Addis, is the prime carer by nursing him and carrying him around the enclosure and she’s doing a really great job.”
Gestation is usually around six months.
Mothers will carry the baby on their stomach for the first few weeks, before transferring it to their back. The youngster will then begin to gain independence around five-months-old.
Make sure you join us on Monday, August 25, at midday -1pm to welcome Bill Oddie and baboon baby, Billie!