Yorkshire Wildlife Park welcomes new Baboons for Monkey Playhouse
PUBLISHED: 14:38 02 April 2013 | UPDATED: 21:22 05 April 2013
Thousands of visitors braved the chilly winds to enjoy the Easter arrival of award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park's baboons.
Thousands of visitors braved the chilly winds to enjoy the Easter arrival of award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Parks baboons.
The baboon reserve is part of a unique play complex - the 1.2m Monkey Playhouse - which has 600 sqm of play area, caf and conference rooms.
Children playing in the warmth of the Monkey Playhouse were mesmerized by the new monkeys, they could see the antics of 17 baboons one large troop of both males and females through a huge glass viewing window. Visitors can also view the baboons from an external walkway.
The baboons are called Romulus, Gimlie, Nemty, Niandan, Uma, Umba, Gouba, Riga, Xiao, Royanba, Royaka, Rouake, Gambara, Koura, Rotouma and Nafagui and two infants who are not yet named who were born at the end of last year.
The baboons came from Edinburgh Zoo, whose troop of 60 Guinea baboons had fallen out and this family of baboons were outcasts until Yorkshire Wildlife Park offered them a home.
The new arrivals were released on Good Friday into their new reserve for the first time and were soon enjoying the space, running about, climbing and jumping and destroying the new plants!
Guinea baboons are the smallest of the 5 baboon subspecies. Living in troops of up typically up to 40 individuals, they have a strict social hierarchy. They are one of the most playful of all animals and have a long juvenile phase to learn about their surroundings and the rules and boundaries of their social group.
They are terrestrial and spend most of their time on the ground foraging, playing or grooming each other. Guinea baboons are IUCN listed. The IUCN recognises the worlds species in urgent need of protection. These animals are not yet endangered but their conservation needs to be monitored.
The Monkey Playhouse is the only play barn in the UK where children can not only be Inspired by the climbing ability of real monkeys but can actually see them while they are playing.
The play area has three levels of play equipment and includes wooden climbing frames and towers, dens, slides, swings and rope bridges. There is a soft play area for the under 5s.
Director, Cheryl Williams said: We are absolutely delighted to welcome Baboons to the park, and they seem to be really enjoying themselves! They are very social primates and the visitors are enjoying watching them as they are just so active all the time.
"There are two very young babies, still being carried around by their Mums who have become very firm favourites with everyone. The Alpha male Romulus is really impressive, strutting around and so very proud of his new territory! The baboons are curious about the children playing next door and will often go up to the glass window and have a good look at them.
This Easter will be remembered as a very special one. It was wonderful to see so many come and see the baboons on their first weekend. Especially when just a week ago, the park had to close due to the snow which fortunately disappeared in time for the holiday
The special one millionth guest is expected through the gate later this week and will win a super family VIP package to mark the important milestone for YWP, which only opened in 2009.