Chacma Baboon

© Nigel J Dennis

Name

Chacma baboon or Cape baboon (papio ursinus)

Appearance

The chacma baboon is a large primate with males measuring 1.5m from head to tail and weighing up to 33 kg. Females are smaller, measuring 1.1 m with a mass of about 15 kg. This baboon has a dog-like face and big, prominent canines.

Chacma Baboon Diet

Being omnivorous, the chacma baboon feeds on seeds, insects, wild fruits, scorpions, and sometimes the flesh of birds and small mammals. They are unpopular with farmers as they tend to raid crops and maize.

Chacma Baboon Breeding

After a gestation period of about 140 days, a single young is born. Having no specific breeding season, female chacma baboons can give birth throughout the year in South Africa.

Chacma Baboon Behaviour

Troops of baboons consist of 50 to 100 individuals, with a complex social structure. They can be very hostile and aggressive, known to viciously retaliate when threatened.

Where they are found

The chacma baboon can be found in South Africa along the Drakensberg woodlands, semi-deserts and subalpine meadows. In northern areas, it is replaced by its close relative - the yellow baboon. They are widely distributed throughout South Africa, as well as Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola and Zambia.