Israeli Zoo Welcomes Birth of a Female Orange Baboon

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Israel's Safari zoo welcomes an orange baby baboon, a rarity in nature. The baby baboon has yet to be named, but her mother Skad and father Shapira are taking very good care of her.

Zoo workers at the Ramat Gan Safari, near Tel Aviv were extremely surprised with the recent birth of an orange-colored baby baboon.

Ginger furred baboons are considered very rare and the event was cause for celebration at the zoo.

[Yael Baker, Safari Zoo, Primate Keeper]:
"Skad, our twenty-year-old baboon, gave birth to an orange baby and we just today discovered it's actually a female baby and we are very happy because it's been thirty years since we last had an orange baboon here."

Adult baboons sit in small groups grooming each other while the juveniles play.

Baboons' favorite pastime is combing and picking lice from each other's fur.

[Yael Baker, Safari Zoo, Primate Keeper]:
"You can see next to her Shapira, who's her mate, and he is the father of the baby. He's taking very good care of both of them, he's very protective, he grooms her."

Males often help to defend a female and her offspring.

Baboons, with their distinctive long dog-like muzzles and heavy powerful jaws, are omnivorous, but usually prefer fruit.

In the wild, they live in close-knit social groups.

For the first month, an infant baboon stays in very close contact with its mother.

The mother carries the infant next to her stomach as she travels, holding it with one hand.

By the time the young baboon is 5 to 6 weeks old it can ride on her back, hanging on by all four limbs.

The new addition to the zoo has yet to be named.

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