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Hamadryas Baboon

Animal Essentials

Scientific Name:
Papio hamadryas
Park Location:
Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia & Yemen
Rocky desert, sub-desert

Amazing Facts

When a Baboon is threatened by a predator it will bark loudly and bare its huge teeth!
The red skin on a baboon’s bottom is actually a leathery seating pad which allows them to sit and sleep upright!
The Hamadryas baboon was the sacred baboon of the ancient Egyptians.

The baboon is the largest type of monkey. Hamadryas baboons originate from Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. They prefer rocky desert and sub-desert regions. These very intelligent primates are endangered in the wild due to loss of habitat.

Females and young are brown haired whilst adult dominant males are silvery on their shoulders and back. Their faces and buttocks are hairless and often brightly coloured. They can grow up to 3 feet (90cm) long and weigh up to 100 pounds (45 kilos). They are omnivores, eating both plants and meat; grass, insects, lizards, small mammals and snakes!

Baboons have a complex social structure. A male will dominate up to ten females at a time. This ‘family’ is a close-knit group spending a great deal of time interacting with each other, grooming and playing. Several ‘families’ form a clan; several clans form a band; several bands form a troop. Troops can vary in size from just a few to several hundred!

The female hamadryas baboon gives birth after 5 months' gestation and will only give birth every 2 years. In captivity they can live up to 37 years!


Populations of hamadryas baboons in the wild are stable. Habitat loss and human conflict due to the increased levels of livestock competing for grazing is threatening to impact these strong numbers. Research into these baboons and the human conflict is on-going.

Threat Status

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