Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Oakland Zoo is happy to declare the arrival of a baby hamadryas baboon. Baby Kodee was born on October 24, 2013 at Oakland Zoo. After acclimating to her exhibit over the past three weeks, she can now be seen daily by the public. Kodee is most often seen riding on her mother, Krista. She likes to cling to her mom’s belly and be carried around the exhibit. If she isn’t close to her Mom, then her Dad, Martijn, is nearby. Zookeepers say he has shown to be very protective of the infant and always has an eye on her whereabouts. Like human newborns, the first couple of months will mainly consist of the baby nursing and sleeping.
“This infant, as well as her half-sister Mocha, are critical to increasing genetic diversity in the captive population in the United States,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “We are very happy that we are able to contribute to such an important cause by collaborating with the Association of Zoos and Acquariums (AZA).”
***Media Advisory*** On Thursday, 11/14, from 10:00am – 11:00am, Oakland Zoo will be offering the media photo and video opportunities of baby baboon, Kodee. A zookeeper will also be available for interviews during this time. If you plan on attending, please arrive at 9:45am at the Zoo’s Main Entrance, under the Oakland Zoo sign and contact Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR at (510) 632-9525, ext 130 or e-mail nmora(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org***
The baby’s other companion is her half-sister, Mocha, who was born in April. Mocha is extremely interested in her baby sister and zookeepers have witnessed her mimicking motherly behaviors as she learns her big sister role in the baboon group.
Kodee is Oakland Zoo’s second baboon birth in six months. She was born to the Zoo’s new hamadryas baboon troop, which arrived in the Spring of 2013. Her parents are troop leader, Martijn (twelve years of age) and Krista (sixteen years of age). The group was relocated to Oakland from the Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands. The international move was facilitated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which Oakland Zoo is accredited by and follows breeding recommendations.
Hamadryas baboons live in complex social structures. An adult male will have several females in his “harem” which he will protect in exchange for exclusive breeding rights. The females will develop relationships as well and assist each other with child rearing. While the males are not as involved as the females in rearing the infants, they are good fathers who will protect their offspring and as they get older they will sometimes play with them or otherwise allow them to join in their activities.
Oakland Zoo’s two troops of baboons can be seen by the public daily from 10:00am – 4:00pm at the Baboon Cliffs exhibit, located down the hill from the African Veldt. The Baboon Cliffs Exhibit opened in the fall of 2009 and is approximately 8,100 square feet in size. It includes a cascading waterfall, climbing structures, a spacious area for the baboons to roam, a night house facility, and offices for Zoo staff. Guests are able to observe all eleven of the baboons from a large viewing deck.
ABOUT HAMADRYAS BABOONS: A group of baboons is often referred to as a troop. They are generally 24 – 30 inches in length and can weigh up to 80 pounds (females weigh generally weigh around 40 pounds and males weigh 75-80 pounds). Hamadryas baboons eat vegetables, protein-rich insects, and some red meat. They have an active lifestyle and live to be around 30 – 40 years of age. Hamadryas baboons in the wild are found in Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In the wild, baboons congregate in very large groups to sleep at night. During the day, they separate into smaller groups to forage for food. Throughout history, Hamadryas baboons were worshipped by Egyptians as the incarnation of their God, Thoth, who is often depicted with the head of a baboon.
ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO: The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. The East Bay Zoological Society is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at http://www.oaklandzoo.org.