Yorkshire wildlife park ‘absolutely delighted’ to welcome cheeky little monkeys

The new baboon house at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Picture: Sharon Doorbar/Acquire Images
The new baboon house at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Picture: Sharon Doorbar/Acquire Images
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MEET my mates the primates...

A group of baboons has moved to South Yorkshire - where they are monkeying around for delighted visitors to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Branton.

Pictured admiring the new baboon house at Yorkshire Wildlife Park is Robin Barker, 10, from Doncaster. Picture: Sharon Doorbar/Acquire Images

Pictured admiring the new baboon house at Yorkshire Wildlife Park is Robin Barker, 10, from Doncaster. Picture: Sharon Doorbar/Acquire Images

The baboons - alpha male Romulus, and his troop Gimlie, Nemty, Niandan, Uma, Umba, Gouba, Riga, Xiao, Royanba, Royaka, Rouake, Gambara, Koura, Rotouma and Nafagui - have made the trip south from their previous home at Edinburgh Zoo.

There are also two baboon babies, born at the end of last year and still being carried by their doting mums, who have yet to be given names.

The new attractions were introduced in time for Easter, and thousands of visitors are already braving chilly winds to see their first appearance.

The baboon reserve is part of the Doncaster wildlife park’s new £1.2 million Monkey Playhouse - which has 600 square metres of children’s play area, cafe and conference rooms.

Children playing inside the playhouse can see the antics of the baboons - one large troop of both males and females - through a large glass viewing window. Visitors can also view the baboons from an external walkway.

The primates had to be moved from Edinburgh Zoo after its troop of 60 Guinea baboons fell out.

The family were outcasts so Wildlife Park at Doncaster offered them a home.

The new arrivals are already enjoying their new space, running about, climbing and jumping, bosses at the park said.

Park director Cheryl Williams said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome baboons to the park, and they seem to be really enjoying themselves!

“They are very social primates and the visitors are enjoying watching them as they are just so active all the time.

“There are two very young babies, still being carried around by their mums, who have become very firm favourites with everyone.

“The alpha male, Romulus, is really impressive, strutting around and so very proud of his new territory!

“The baboons are curious about the children playing next door, too, and will often go up to the glass window to have a good look at them.”

Guinea baboons are the smallest of the five baboon sub-species.

Living in troops typically of up to 40 individuals, they have a strict social hierarchy.

They are among the most playful of all animals, and have a long juvenile phase during which time they learn about their surroundings and the rules of their social group.

They spend most of their time on the ground foraging, playing, or grooming one another.