Breakfast with a Baboon

Two species which are often found together are the baboon (Papio cynocephalus) and the impala antelope (Aepyceros melampusShona: mhara; Ndebele: ipala ). Here the young male impala appears to be in community with the baboon over breakfast. Some suggest a symbiotic relationship between these two animals. Impala have been observed to be more ‘approachable’ in the presence of a baboon troop, perhaps providing a false sense of security, and such troops will often sound the alarm when predators are present (basically an early warning system for the impala). Some have observed that grazing impala often unearth grubs and insects which baboons will feed on. A strange relationship, since it is not unknown for baboons to grab young impala calves, mutilate and eat them.
(Canon 7D; f/6.3; 1/250sec; ISO-200; 400mm)

Picture ©2012 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

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2 thoughts on “Breakfast with a Baboon

  1. Impala as well as Kudu can at times be seen in Mana below Tamarind and Albida trees picking up the pods that baboons feeding up in the tree have dropped. A bushveldt legend that I have never been able to find anyone who has witnessed first hand ( nor photographed) is that baboons succle from lactating female impala – that I think is a bushveldt legend of highly dubious origin but maybe some keen eyed photographer might one day collect the evidence?

    1. John, Thanks for your comments and how very interesting the legend is. Perhaps one day some photographer will get the picture… both impala and baboons are difficult to observe at close quarters for long periods of time, in my experience.

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