The vicious war of succession for the baboons of the Toronto Zoo is finally over


Originally published at:


That’s a particularly inapt picture: it’s a male mandrill, not a Hamadryas baboon, as appears in the article’s picture (they never mention a type of baboon either). Mandrills differ from other baboons in size (largest, although all baboons are pretty beefy), habitat (jungle, not savanna), and, of course, they are male dominated.

Maclean’s also fails. Their picture is of a Hamadryas baboon, but the Toronto Zoo has Olive baboons:

@weekendlites Kalamata was the clue…

Zoology, how does it work, [grumble, grumble]…


Wow. Guess Mitchy McTurtleface should have intervened at the Zoo!


I suppose, in a wild setting, the troop would simply have split :grey_question:

Interesting pharmacological solution.



Yeah. Zoos suck, no matter how you look at it.


Nature is harsh.


It also does not appear to be an illustration of a “vicious war of succession among the troops female members that saw them mutilating one another in savage combat.”


This 70s R&B group would agree!


Nova had an amazing special a while back about succession and intrigue with wolves in Yellowstone. The full episode is still online:


Kalamata…do her friends just call her Olive?


Chaos isn’t the moat
Chaos is the climbing ropes.
Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again.
The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm or the gods or flinging poo.
Only the ropes are real.
The climb is all there is.


The fighting — first reported by The Canadian Press in late 2015 — began shortly after the troop’s leader, 16-year-old Betty, was euthanized.
Baboon troops are run by females, and their behaviour dictates that the matriarch’s oldest daughter become queen. But zoo staff have said Betty’s oldest daughter, Molly, was still too young to assert her dominance when her mother died in December 2014.

sounds as if the zoo may have scored an own goal.

If you plan to assassinate a leader, it’s best to plan for the aftermath.


I wrote in Bernie Sanders, so my conscience is clear.


Does this mean that we now have to call battles between women baboon-fights instead of cat-fights? I hope not; it’s so awkward.

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