Astounding Africa: The beast-ape of Ethiopia

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The gelada baboon, sometimes called the bleeding-heart baboon because of its obvious crimson breast patch, is not actually a baboon at all according to some scientists, but an old world monkey. It is placed in its own genus Theropithecus (the Greek root word for “beast-ape”). The gelada is the most terrestrial primate other than humans, and spends most of the day grazing along cliff edges high on the Ethiopian plateau. It is reckoned that there are about 250,000 of these hirsute creatures, but numbers are declining.

Gelada Baboon (Theropithecus gelada) Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

Find out more about gelada baboons.

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Peter has a career in publishing and conservation spanning more than four decades. His most recent project has been the development of Untold Africa, a meeting place for intelligent, engrossing and entertaining dialogue for a global community of like-minded people - people who share a common passion for the wild places of Africa, the creatures that inhabit them, and the breadth of African culture. See more

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