Baby Baboon Named “Mimi” Born at Oakland Zoo

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Oakland Zoo is happy to announce a new arrival, a baby hamadryas baboon named “Mimi.” The name “Mimi” is Swahili for “I am.” She was born on Wednesday, May 21st in the early morning hours. When zookeepers arrived to work, the baby was found nursing with her mother, Maya. After settling into her surroundings for the past week, she can now be seen daily by the public.

***Media Advisory*** On Thursday, 5/29, from 12:30pm – 1:30pm, Oakland Zoo will be offering the media photo and video opportunities of baby Mimi. A zookeeper will also be available for interviews during this time. If you plan on attending, please arrive at 12:15pm 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***

Mimi is the third baby baboon born at Oakland Zoo during the last year and a half. Her older siblings, Kodee and Mocha, are very curious about their little sister. Zookeepers say both troops of baboons are reacting well to the new addition.

“This new baby is great because not only do we have parent raised baboons, but the other two youngsters are able to witness and participate in infant care, which will only make them better mothers in the future,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.

The baby’s parents are troop leader, Martijn (thirteen years of age) and Maya (nine years of age). The group was relocated to Oakland in 2013 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.

Oakland Zoo has two troops of baboons that can be seen daily by the public 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: 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.

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. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) 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

Contact: Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR Senior Manager, Marketing/PR (510) 632-9525 ext. 130 nmora(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org


Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Public Relations


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