Name Oakland Zoo's Baby Boy Baboon

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Oakland Zoo is hosting a naming contest to name the first baby boy baboon born at the Zoo.

Baby Boy Baboon

"The siblings are very curious about the new babies, and with the mothers’ permissions will look at the babies, often trying to groom or play with them," said Senior Keeper Adrian Mrsny.

Naming Contest for Baby Boy Baboon at Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo announces the birth of two half-sibling baboons (male and female). Mothers, Krista and Maud, gave birth at Oakland Zoo within nineteen days of each other. Baby hamadryas baboon, Kabili, is the fourth female born at Oakland Zoo in two years. Her name is “Kabili,” which means honest, brave in Swahili. She was born on Saturday, March 14th. The second baby is a baby boy hamadryas baboon, born on Wednesday, April 1st.

Oakland Zoo is hosting a naming contest to name the first baby boy baboon born at the Zoo. The public is encouraged to go to and vote for their favorite baboon name. The three name options are: Muriu (pronounced Mahroo, meaning Son), Maliki (meaning King), or Mazi (meaning Sir). The names are Swahili. All funds raised from the naming contest will go towards enrichment items for animals at Oakland Zoo.

***Media Advisory***

On Thursday, May 7th from 11:30am to 12:30pm Oakland Zoo will be offering the media photo and video opportunities of the baby baboons. A zookeeper will also be available for interviews during this time. If you plan on attending, please arrive at 11:15am at the Zoo’s Main Entrance, under the Oakland Zoo sign and contact Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR at (510) 632-9525, ext 130, nmora(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org*** or Erin Harrison, Senior Manager, Marketing/Communications at (510) 632-9525, ext 135, eharrison(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org.

The two infants are the youngest of three older female siblings, Mocha, Kodee, and Mimi. The babies are half siblings as they share the same father, Martin, but have different mothers.

The youngsters can be seen on exhibit daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The mothers and babies do have access to their night house, should they want to be inside with their infants. Zookeepers are excited and encouraged by behaviors that indicate the Zoo’s two harems of baboons are reacting well to the new arrivals. “All of the youngsters are part of the same harem,” said Senior Keeper Adrienne Mrsny of Oakland Zoo. “The siblings are very curious about the new babies and with the mothers’ permissions will look at the babies, often trying to groom or play with them. Kabili is living up to her name (Swahili for brave) by following her much older sisters in climbing and walking around to explore the exhibit. The baby male spends much of his time gazing at the world around him as he holds onto his mom; he took his first steps during his second day on exhibit.”

The babies’ parents are troop leader, Martijn (14 years of age), Krista (19 years of age) and Maud (9 years of age). The group was relocated to Oakland in 2013 from the Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands. The international move was facilitated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which Oakland Zoo is accredited by and follows breeding recommendations.

Oakland Zoo has two troops of baboons that can be seen daily by the public from 10:00am - 4:00pm at the Baboon Cliffs exhibit, located down the hill from the African Veldt. The Baboon Cliffs Exhibit opened in the fall of 2009 and is approximately 8,100 square feet in size. It includes a cascading waterfall, climbing structures, a spacious area for the baboons to roam, a night house facility, and offices for Zoo staff. Guests are able to observe all thirteen of the baboons from a large viewing deck.

Hamadryas baboons live in complex social structures. An adult male will have several females in his “harem” which he will protect in exchange for exclusive breeding rights. The females will develop relationships as well and assist each other with child rearing. While the males are not as involved as the females in rearing the infants, they are good fathers who will protect their offspring and as they get older they will sometimes play with them or otherwise allow them to join in their activities.

A group of baboons is often referred to as a troop. They are generally 24 – 30 inches in length and can weigh up to 80 pounds (females weigh generally weigh around 40 pounds and males weigh 75-80 pounds). Hamadryas baboons eat vegetables, protein-rich insects, and some red meat. They have an active lifestyle and live to be around 30 – 40 years of age. Hamadryas baboons in the wild are found in Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In the wild, baboons congregate in very large groups to sleep at night. During the day, they separate into smaller groups to forage for food. Throughout history, Hamadryas baboons were worshipped by Egyptians as the incarnation of their God, Thoth, who is often depicted with the head of a baboon.

The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at

Contact: Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130

Contact: Erin Harrison, Senior Manager, Marketing/Communciations
(510) 632-9525 ext. 135

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Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, PR
Oakland Zoo
(510) 632-9525 Ext: 130
Email >

Erin Harrison, Senior Manager, Communications
Oakland Zoo
(510) 632-9525 135
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