This morning, I received a great message from Marion, who is having a little break from the lab work. She would like to introduce us to “Ricotta”, a newly-collared Karoo baboon.
Ricotta is a small adult female of 11.5kg – light weight compared to Cape Town baboons but quite common in this arid region — and she wanders in the Koup area near Springfontein. By monitoring her, Marion and the Project will learn precious information about baboon home range and habitat preferences in an arid landscape dominated by extensive sheep farming. Those information are crucial to highlight the conflict where attacks are very difficult to see and losses hard to evaluate in the field (but see our ongoing work on baboon diet through isotope analysis of hairs in a earlier post).
After eating some mealies, Ricotta ran straight back to the mountains where she is staying for the moment with regular incursions in surrounding riverbeds.
Thanks a lot to Joseph Le Roes for allowing us to collar a baboon on his farm and to veterinarian Jaco Pienaar for his assistance.