Meet Hobbit, Hercules, Harshit, Kito and Kidame at Wild Place Project.
These five colourful characters are gelada baboons – an all-male group who originally came from Zurich in Switzerland. Find the troop in their purpose-built enclosure, Gelada Rocks, at the end of our Webb's Brake woodland or as you exit Bear Wood.
Although often called gelada baboons, these monkeys are not true baboons, but can be easily recognised by the cape of long hair over the shoulders of the males and the bright red skin on the chest of both sexes which turns a brighter red when the females are ovulating. It is because of this feature that geladas are sometimes known as bleeding heart baboons.
Males grow to around 75cm in length, weighing around 20kg, and females to 65cm and up to 16kg. They are the last surviving species of a once widespread group of grass-grazing primates.
Our geladas range in age from 10 (Kito) to 18 years old (Hobbit). At their previous home they lived in separate families but within the same large troop, and they have formed a new hierarchy at Wild Place Project.
In the wild, geladas live in the mountains of Ethiopia, sleeping at night on ledges on the steep cliff faces. They are protected from the extreme cold of their mountain habitat by the distinctive cape of thick fur.
Their home at Wild Place Project has grassland, boulders, rocky outcrops and trees, to provide shade, secluded areas and plenty of grass for grazing. The indoor gelada house is fully insulated and includes central heating. It can actually accommodate more than twice the existing number of geladas and has four separate areas, which allow keepers to separate the animals when needed.
Explore behind-the-scenes and get up-close to the geladas by booking a Gelada Rocks experience