Yellow baboon hunting an antelope

14 February 2011

Yellow Baboons are one of the primate species found at Mahale Mountain Nation Park. They live in troops ranging in size between thirty to sixty individuals. They relish on diets ranging from leaves, fruits, vertebrates and invertebrates.

A few days ago, after have gone through my morning daily schedule, I decided to go for a walk in the forest at around 11:20am. The walk wasn’t aimed at a specific thing, it was just to enjoy the scenes and see whatever comes along. Since I was alone, the walk was very quiet, except for calls made by cicadas amid the trees. Then after a few kilometers from camp, I encountered two Yellow Baboons standing on the trail looking into the bush. A few seconds thereafter I heard big, loud calls from the bush, and some Baboons were running and leaping on and from branch to branch.

Then I decided to get closer to see what was going on. As I got closer I saw a big male baboon squatting on a big branch with a duiker by his hands. Other baboons, both juveniles and adults, were running, some walking around him screaming and stretching their hand to beg meat from the dominant male baboon. It took him a few minutes before he could start eating the duiker and share with some of his fellows, particularly other adult males. He might have decided to offer some meat to a few of the other adult males to avoid the risk of them ganging up against him and taking the meat away from him.

I left the scene and came back to camp and shared this story with some of the other guys, it was fascinating to find out how many staff did not know that Baboons are omnivores, and can hunt for their own prey.

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