The well known Chacma Baboon or Cape Baboon is a fairly large primate that has a dog like face with very intimidating canines. Mature male Cape Baboons can reach a total size of 1.5m from head to tail and can weigh up to 33kg. The Females are significantly smaller than the male, with a smaller and more slender frame reaching only 1.1 m in length and weighing only 15kg. They have a very dusty and dark brown coat colour as adults but have a much darker, almost black looking coat colour as infants and young adults.
Cape Baboons are omnivores that generally feed on fruits, seeds and insects and will sometimes even feed on scorpions. On some rare occasions Cape Baboons will feed on small mammals and birds. Baboon troops are excellent raiders and planners and can often be seen invading farms and feeding on the crops that are available. Because of their love for fruits and maize and their ability to raid farms, they are very unpopular with commercial farmers that provide fruit and maize.
Cape Baboons are incredibly aggressive animals and have been seen attacking their predators out of self-defence and have on very rare occasions even killed their attackers. Troop sizes of baboons can reach anywhere from 50 to even 100 members strong. When you look around in the mountains or in the trees and see a baboon sitting on a rock or somewhere up high, you are looking at a scout. These baboons sit a short distance away from the troop and surround the troop, keeping watch from many angles. These baboon’s jobs are to keep lookout for predators that may be close by. They also act as a beacon to let people and animals know that you are close to a Troop. These scout baboons are usually the larger of the troop’s members.
Chacma Baboons are mainly found in the semi-desert, woodland and sub alpine meadows in and around the Drakensberg. Its more known member, the Yellow Baboon, populates a majority of South Africa and the neighbouring countries, including Mozambique and Botswana. The primary predator of the Baboon is the Leopard and although many baboons fall prey to leopards, they have been known to keep their own against them and even on rare occasions killing them. The large canines that the baboon possess can do some serious damage and are quite intimidating.