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Banjo Meets Baboons for the First Time

Banjo is a 3 year old male Chacma baboon. He has spent his years previous to his arrival at Riverside suspended above a bar in a 1mx1m chicken coop. When the bar closed down, they abandoned Banjo. The bar was demolished and Banjo escaped, and feld atop a nearby apartment building. A local Veterinarian was hired to dart and sedate Banjo, and he was transported to Riverside.

Upon Banjo's arrival in early April, 2014, it was apparent that Banjo was malnourished, and had some permanently disfigured fingers. He also showed stereotypic behaviours such as head rolling and excessive masturbation.

Banjo spent 40 days in quarantine where he was TB tested (and passed), microchipped and processed. He was also de-wormed, and given other prophylactic treatments against common diseases.

In May, 2014, Banjo was introduced to the intro baboon inclosure, where Tinka (a 3 year old female Chacma baboon) and Rigby (a 3 year old male Chacma baboon) already resided. Banjo was clearly nervous, having not seen baboons for much of his life, we presume. Tinka would attempt to lip-smack or groom or solicit lip-smacks and grooms from Banko, but not getting the expected response, she became angered, sometimes pulling, hitting, biting or screaming at Banjo, and asking Rigby to defend her against the rude intruder.

Rigby was a little easier on the new-comer, trying to engage in play by play-facing, giggling and chasing. Some of the time Banjo seemed to enjoy this, but would soon grow overwhelmed and run away.

By late afternoon the trio were calm and tired. Banjo settled into the food, and Tinka and Rigby returned to their usual grooming love-fest.

Banjo has a ways to go in learning the language of baboons and being part of a troop, but he's on the right track, and from the safety of the intro is able to observe the stable main camp troop. Soon he will be amongst them!

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