Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Baboon Bones

By Iratemonkey @_sam_williams_

On the July 25th while conducting their daily observations, Pete and Brittany, two baboon primatologists at Lajuma watched as a female baboon unexpectedly fell from a tree and died. Her name was Frankie, named after Frankenstein because of a condition that made her walk with a hunch. Frankie was an older baboon with severe arthritis. On the day she died, a film crew was also present and recorded footage of the whole event. After she fell, the people who were watching approached her and could see that she was still alive, but her breaths were slow and short. She died shortly thereafter. The cause of her death is unknown, although it was likely from a heart attack or old age. Most of the troop continued on normally, however one male named Dave surprisingly remained behind. Dave did not have a known relationship with Frankie and was not a dominant male in the troop. For over an hour, Dave sat close by and showed that he did not want anyone coming near her body. Finally after the whole troop was gone, Dave too took off. This was when Pete and Brittany were able to approach Frankie.

They took body measurements and samples, and then placed her body into a box to decompose. Within a month, the bones were nearly clean and the team was able to sort the bones. Now, only a small amount of flesh and ligaments remain. It will probably be another two weeks before the skeleton is ready to be shipped back to Durham and used for teaching and observation in the lab.


Baboon bones
Baboon bones

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