Baboon in Nigeria
Olive-Baboon, Source: Curiosidade

Baboon is one the world’s largest monkeys. There are five species: Olive, Yellow, Chacma, Guinea, and Hamadryas, belonging to the genus Papio, part of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. Baboons in Nigeria belong to the Olive baboon species (Papio anubis). Olive baboons are large, heavily built primates living in multi-male-multi-female groups. They live for up to 30 years in Savannas and woodlands. Their diet is diversified, mostly herbivorous and frugivorous, and complemented whenever possible by animal proteins such as ants, grasshoppers, crabs or even small vertebrates. Baboons are referred to as Inaki (also Inoki) in Yoruba language.

Olive baboons are found in habitats ranging from desert to montane forest, and they possess the ability to change environment in new ways. This marked ecological and behavioral flexibility makes them more susceptible to accompanying effects of human population expansion. Baboons are therefore closer to humans than most habitat-specific primates. They sleep, travel, feed and socialize together in troops of about 50 individuals.

Olive baboon is an important seed disperser in the savanna-forest ecosystem of Nigeria. Crops eaten varied from ripe maize to scavenging for scraps of sweet potato in harvested fields.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer