Melbourne Zoo Announce Hamadryas Baboon Birth Baby baboon bonanza | Zoos Victoria A fourth beautiful baby has joined the Hamadryas Baboon troop at Melbourne Zoo. The little female Gana was born on December 13, but until now she hasn’t been easy to see, because her protective mother Grace has kept the baby on her back and often stayed in secluded areas of the large exhibit. Now Gana is starting to climb down to sit on the ground near her mother for brief periods, as Grace becomes more confident that her baby is doing well. Gana is the fourth baby born since 2015, when Juju was the Zoo’s first Hamadryas Baboon to be born for 15 years. Juju is now two years old, and she will turn three in May. The male Melako was born on May 21, 2017. The female Quasi, born in August, is just four months older than Gana, and the two are starting to become playmates. The Hamadryas Baboons live in the custom-designed Baboon Lookout, opened in 2011. Opening Baboon Lookout provided a spacious new environment for the group and also enabled the Zoo to demolish their old and outdated facility to make space for the new Growing Wild development to be built on that site. Melbourne Zoo Director Kevin Tanner explains that connecting visitors to wildlife is the first step in gaining community support for the Zoo’s conservation campaigns. As an African species, baboons are Ambassadors for the Zoos Victoria Beads for Wildlife conservation campaign, which helps Kenyan women support their families by selling their beautiful beadwork in the zoo shops and online. That income reduces pressure on families to expand their domestic herds, which directly compete with zebra and other wildlife for the scarce water and feed. Hamadryas Baboons are a near-threatened species, classified as Red List by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). They live in a range of habitats including grasslands, arid sub-desert, and rocky hill country. Baboons are foragers, and their zoo diet is very similar to what they eat in the wild: vegetables, insects, nuts, seeds, and leafy branches. Although only two months old, in addition to nursing from Grace, Gana is also very quick to sample any of the solid foods that her mother is eating.