Track It Thursday: The Baboon

These incredibly human like hand and foot prints can only be left behind by one of two primates, a monkey or baboon. It is their large size that confirms it is from the latter. There is a front hand track, very similar to a print created by our own human hands and a back foot print which also looks like the track of a small barefoot child.

Interestingly primates tracks are very unique mainly due to the fact that the front tracks (hands) are smaller than the back tracks (feet) whereas with most other animals, the front feet are usually bigger in size.

The species we find in the Timbavati is the chacma baboon. It is one of the largest monkeys in the world. With a complex social structure, these animals travel in troops made up of adult male and female animals as well as a collection of youngsters. They all are ruled by one large, dominant male baboon. Hence when you do find tracks out in the bush they are always numerous and plentiful, another method of identification.

However, it can also be easy to mistake baboon tracks for predator prints. If the heel on the track does not show up clearly they can very easily look like the track from a lion, hyena or leopard.

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