Wildlife in Serengeti-Park
Barbary macaque | Macaca sylvanus
Barbary macaques, also known as Barbary apes, are the only macaques living in Africa, distributed in small protected areas on the northern edge of the Sahara. The population in Gibraltar is the only wild ape species in the European continent. These monkeys are very resistant to cold weather and live outside even in winter. Barbary apes have an interesting family life: they live together with up to 60 animals, including many adult males, which is quite unusual. They are an endangered species!
While most male monkeys fiercely compete for food, territory and females, male Barbary apes live together in groups. How is that possible? They have established a strict social structure. Not every male can approach another male just like that and females tend to mate with higher-ranking males. To overcome this problem, they have developed a successful strategy: They use juveniles as “aggression buffer” when making contact. If a male wants to approach another male, he first borrows a young animal from a mother in the group. With a child on their back, the male can now approach the other male without a fight. The females readily hand over their young to the males, but they accompany them at some distance. The males often carry these replacement children around for hours. They are very loving, caring and comforting to the little ones and even play with them.