The North Carolina Zoo is experiencing a baboon baby boom.
The zoo just welcomed its third baby baboon in the past two months. Zanzibar, a male hamadryas baboon, was born Thursday morning.
Jodi Wiley, Species Survival Plan coordinator and studbook keeper at the zoo, said having several births together allows babies to grow up with each other and their mothers to form a “mom’s club.”
Every two years, the SSP performs genetic analysis at each Association of Zoos and Aquariums institution in the nation with hamadryas baboons, in hopes that individual zoos can maintain healthy populations.
“It is important to have a few births at the same time so the babies will have a natal group to grow up with and for the mothers to have a support system,” Wiley said.
With Zanzibar’s birth, the N.C. Zoo now houses 22 hamadryas baboons. That’s the largest number at any AZA member in North America.
All of the N.C. Zoo’s baboons are on exhibit at the African Pavilion.
Hamadryas baboons are native to northeastern Africa and the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. They are typically born in late spring or early winter.
An otter pup, three cougar kittens and a sitatunga, a swamp-dwelling antelope, are also recent additions to the N.C. Zoo.