A rare Hamadryas baboon has been born at Adelaide Zoo, only the second of its species born there in the past decade.
Keeper Pij Olijnyk said the newborn’s gender was yet to be determined by staff and might not be known for a few weeks.
“[The newborn is] big, looking strong, hanging on to mum for dear life and she’s doing an awesome job,” he said.
“We’re really excited for Tomkay, our boy, to have a little brother or sister to play with.”
The keeper said zoo staff and visitors were smitten with the infant.
“We would like to pretend that we’re not affected by that so much as keepers, but we love little babies – I got caught staring at the little guy a moment ago,” he laughed.
He said proud parents Chappi and Horus were doing a great job with their second offspring and the unnamed baboon would feed from its mother for the next six months or so.
Adelaide Zoo will keep the baboon at least until it reaches maturity in three to four years, but it could be sent to another zoo after that if it is a male.
“It does depend a lot on the individual behaviour within the group as well but certainly there is a dominant behaviour there within baboons and Horus is the king of this troupe,” Mr Olijnyk said.
Hamadryas baboons are one of five species found in Africa.
Adelaide Zoo is having a busy time for births – a golden lion tamarin was born three weeks ago and is settling into its enclosure and a white-cheeked gibbon is due to give birth in the next few weeks.