New baby baboons romp at Prospect Park Zoo

August 27, 2010 6:32:52 AM PDT
There are two new additions to one of the Hamadryas baboon troops at the Prospect Park Zoo: two male babies who are officially making their public debut.

The zoo is celebrating the arrival of the new baby baboons by partnering with Heart of Brooklyn by offering New Yorkers an opportunity to help name them. Starting Tuesday, Aug. 31, everyone can submit their suggestions at

Nominations will be accepted for about three weeks up until, Wednesday, Sept. 22, and the winning names will be announced on the zoo's website, Friday, Sept. 24. All names suggested should be suitable for male baboons. After the names are submitted, senior staff at Prospect Park Zoo will pick the best two. There are no prizes with this contest.

CLICK HERE to see YouTube video of the baby baboons!

"This is very exciting because these are the zoo's first Hamadryas baboon births in six years and the first time we have had two infants at the same time, said Denise McClean, Director of the Prospect Park Zoo. "Both mothers and babies are doing very well and are one big happy troop."

The babies have been holding on to their mothers since they were born in July. They are actively playing and crawling on rocks as they explore their new surroundings.

Hamadryas baboons are native to northeastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. They are large, ground-dwelling monkeys that live in rocky areas and cliffs. Groups of Hamadryas baboons are called troops that typically include one dominant male and many females. They are highly social animals and spend much of their time grooming each other which maintains social bonds.

There are two baboon troops at WCS's Prospect Park Zoo. Bole's troop includes the two new infants, their father and two mothers, and an additional female. Simen's troop includes Matara (the mother of the four previous babies born at the zoo) two of her daughters, and two additional females.

The Hamadryas baboon exhibit is located in the zoo's Animal Lifestyles Building along with tamarin monkeys, piranhas and Pallas cats. The infants are on exhibit with their family from 10 a.m. - 2.p.m. daily until November 1, when their exhibit time will change. Hours will be posted online.