Mandrills are social primates. Nita our female mandrill used to be one half of a sibling duo. After the passing of her brother, we introduced a young baboon Zuri to keep her company. Baboons are closely related to mandrills and also a social species. Nita and Zuri respond well to each other. Nita is now more alert and interested in enrichment activities.

Baboon befriends mandrill

Baboons are closely related to mandrills and both are social species. Zuri immediately took a liking to Nita and follows her around constantly. After a month of conditioning back of house, and close monitoring to confirm their compatibility, Zuri joined Nita in the exhibit. Zuri has been curious about the chimpanzees next door but stays relaxed as Nita remains calm.

Keepers' Notes

“ Zuri was first placed into a den next to where Nita is housed, so they could see each other. After being housed side by side for a week or so, they showed more signs and interest in interacting so we decided to mix them together in Nita’s den. ”

Observation #1

Nita displayed slightly domineering behaviours initially but nevertheless she allowed Zuri to eat on the same platform. 

Observation #2

Zuri appeared relaxed enough with Nita to have a swing on an enrichment device made out of old firehose reel.

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