Wild Fact #169 – The Treacherous Neighbour – Olive Baboon

Olive Baboon

Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Did You Know?

  • The Olive Baboon gets its name from their coat, which from a distance appears to be an olive-green colour, from a distance.
  • This species is the most widespread of all the baboon species.
  • The activities of the Olive Baboon troop is largely dependant upon finding a place suitable for all members to get a good night sleep.

A Large Family

The Olive Baboon lives in a matriarchal troop, which as the name suggests, is controlled by a dominant female. The males of the clan will typically move from troop to troop every few years. These groups of baboons have been known to get as large as 150 individuals. Interestingly enough, they will typically hunt, travel and sleep together. As mentioned earlier, find a place to sleep for 150 members may be difficult and as such, this limiting factor will often dictate their movements throughout the day.

Olive Baboon

Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Betrayed By Your Neighbour

Often you will find these large groups of Baboons living amongst the various antelope species on the open plain. For the most part, the animals are content to simply feed beside each other like best friends; however, every now and again the Olive Baboon is known to get a taste for meat and as such will often turn on their grazing companions resulting in the death of the slowest (and usually smallest) member of  the antelope herd. It must be difficult knowing that your pal right beside you is capable of turning against you at the drop of a hat. I guess the pros of grazing with the Olive Baboon far outweigh the rare incidence of treason.

Benefits of Living Amongst The Baboons

So what are the pros? The biggest and most important benefit of hanging out with the Olive Baboon is they are incredibly aggressive and will often chase off any predator that tries to come into the area. In fact, if you don’t believe me, just watch how they scare of this large predatory cat. Knowing that the Baboon has your back most of the time most likely makes their betrayal acceptable.

I told you the Olive Baboon was aggressive. Although, I guess it helps knowing that you have the predator out numbered 150 to 1.

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