The Zoo’s three olive baboon babies are now 16 months old and have started to develop some great talents! Because of their constant curiosity and motivation, the baboon babies have learned how to paint and partake in the University of Rochester cognitive research study.
So how do you teach a baboon to paint? Cheerios were placed underneath the door frame, shown in the picture to the right, behind a dot of paint. In order to get to the Cheerio, the baboons had to reach under the door frame and pull towards them. Every time they “finger painted,” a Cheerio was given as a reward. Once this concept was figured out, getting paint on them and everywhere else was fun!
Baby baboon Pico de Limon, shown in the picture to the left, was the first baby to join the study with the University of Rochester that many of our adult baboons have been working on for the last two years. He is progressing very quickly, learning that choosing the cup that held the most peanuts meant that he got to eat them! In just a few weeks, he now has three cups placed on the board and has been able to choose successfully that three peanuts going into one cup is more than one peanut going into another.
We are very excited to see what level his counting skills are at compared to the adults as well as getting some insight as to what age these skills start to develop.
– Jenna Bovee, Zoo Keeper