In a previous post it was mentioned that our Jurgens Enclosure, previously housing Vervet Monkeys, was being remodeled to be able to house our expanding baboon troop...
...well guess what...
...IT'S FINISHED!!! On 6 November 2014 we opened the gate to the new space for the baboon troop! All of us gathered to watch as the baboons invaded their new space.
We were taking bets on how long it would take them to figure out they could to go that side, who would be in first, etc. Well to no one's surprise - it took them about half a second to bolt through the new door and the same troop members to be the first to explore new baboons in the intro were the same to explore the new enclosure. These brave busy bodies included Villain, VuVu, Bankok, Louis, Footloose, Bruno, Duck Foot, and Butternut, followed shortly by Peter and the three dominant females. Timothy stayed behind on the dorm side hiding atop the tallest tree watching for a long time, and ended up being the last to enter. Dominant female Jantjie entered without her 1 year old daughter, August, who must have been sleeping on the Dorm side, because about 30 minutes into the event, August came running screaming out of the bushes for her parents! She was scooped up by Duck Foot and taken to the new portion of the enclosure.
It took very little time for nearly the entire troop to pitch up in the new space. For those who have seen the baboon enclosure, you can see in your mind's eye how much the baboons have stripped most of the trees, and there is little to no grass left. But in this new portion there are loads of thick, lush trees full of natural foods, places to hide, and of course branches to break, and also lots of grass and roots to forage. You know those moments at the dinner table (like when Lynne makes Jambalaya) and its so good that everyone's absolutely silent? That's what it seemed like in the baboon camp. Silence - except for the occasional branch cracking. Every baboon happily foraging, eating, climbing, enjoying the shade and the greenery.
For the next couple of days nearly the entire troop remained on the Jurgens side. They still spend most of their time there, and have moved their sleeping site from the Dorm side to the Jurgens side.
This expansion has doubled the size of their previous space. This has relieved a lot of the pressure on the troop, and has minimized the amount of shouting coming from the camp. Another happy event here at Riverside!