Predation on Helmeted Guineafowl by Grey-footed Chacma Baboon in Mashatu Game Reserve, north east Botswana

  • William R Branch


Baboons are Old World monkeys (subfamily Cercopithecinae) endemic to Africa and Arabia. Five species are currently recognized (Newman et al. 2004) and all are omnivores that readily, but sporadically, supplement their vegetarian diet with animal meat. The Grey-footed Baboon (Papio ursinus griseipes) is found in Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and northern South Africa, and is particularly common in the Mashatu Game Reserve on the Tuli Block in northeast Botswana. During numerous visits to the reserve in various months (2008-2017), three sightings of Grey-footed Baboon eating Guinea Fowl (Numida melegaris) were observed. Two involved direct ambush and capture of a bird by a baboon, whilst in the other instance prey was co-opted after being killed by another predator. These observations are detailed below and discussed in relation to other records of predation by baboons.


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