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Older baboon patiently tolerates playful baby baboons

Baboons are one of the most entertaining animals. Perhaps it's because they are so much like us and they remind us so much of ourselves. They are inquisitive and playful, especially when they are young. These baby baboons are eager to play in the sunshine. They are adorably clumsy as they swing on a branch and chase each other. They don't seem to mind at all if they run around and over an older baboon lounging quietly in the shade under a tree. And the good-natured adult tolerates their silliness completely. Watching these two youngsters cavorting, it's hard not to envy their carefree lifestyle and lack of responsibility. They are like tiny, agile people with very human like faces. But it's the large male who is the most impressive. Like a patient father or uncle, he sits and chews a stick or piece of grass and lets them climb and fall all around him. The cheeky little monkey swings a branch up against him and he casually moves it aside and holds onto it. The youngster dangles precariously above his head, tempting the branch to break and bring him down upon the bigger baboon. At one point the little one even steps onto the larger one's head to boost himself up. This extremely good-natured baboon looks at the little one with a casual look that suggests he's given up trying to maintain control of his personal space, or perhaps he remembers all too well that he was once such a little imp. These baboons live in a large safari and rehabilitation centre that provides the animals with sprawling grasslands and bush area to roam freely. They are well cared for and very healthy in an enclosure that keeps them safe from predators, yet allows them enough space to be happy. This facility also provides funding for conservation programs and assist with captive breeding and reintroduction of animals into the wild. Allowing guests to visit here provides the means for the financial contributions and it allows them the opportunity to promote conservation through education.

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