Shenton Safaris: Rare leucistic baby baboon
A baboons morning duties are always the same. A low sun warms up their small agile bodies as they awake from a cold and mostly likely sleepless night from fear of leopards. While slowly making their daily migration as one troop, they forage and comb through the now dry soil of the Luangwa Valley, eating whatever the land presents to them. Yoram and guests are entertained by a pair squabbling and play fighting until a flash of an almost unnatural white diverts their attention. A pale baby baboon explores it’s new home, all the while staying very close to mum and dad as they groom, clean and bond.
This tiny, bounding creature may appear albino but it actually exhibits a condition named leucism. This is a rare occurrence where the pigmentation cells fail to develop as they are supposed to. In some cases, leucism means the animal is entirely white, or in other cases, they just possess patches of white against their natural coat.
Unfortunately, snowy white offspring do not have great chances of surviving in the wild. Due to their bright complexion, the parent baboons often reject their leucistic babies on the grounds they attract more danger. However, with this baby’s parents close by, we are hopeful this little fella does well.
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