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Male Gelada

Gelada Range Map (Africa)
Gelada Range Map (Africa)

Female Gelada
Latin Name Theropithecus gelada
Conservation Status Near Threatened
Location Ethiopia (East Africa)
Colour Brown/Grey
Length 70 - 74 cms (28 - 29 inches)
Tail 46 - 50 cms (18 - 20 inches)
Weight 11 - 20 Kg (24 - 44 lbs)
Life Expectancy 19 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Geladas have a body length between 70 and 74 cms (28 - 29 inches), a tail length between 46 and 50 cms (18 - 20 inches) and they weigh between 11 and 20 Kgs (24 - 44 lbs).

They have brown/grey coloured fur and the males have a long, dark cape of fur on their neck and shoulders and a densely tufted tip on their tail.

Both sexes have an hour-glass shaped patch of skin on their chest, although this is less pronounced on females. Female Geladas are smaller than males and far less colourful.


Geladas are found in the mountain grasslands of Ethiopia. They live at altitudes between 1400 and 4400 m.

They live in groups that contain both males and females, and sometimes these groups can have as many as 600 members. They forage together during the day in numbers between 50 and 300, regrouping together at night to sleep on treeless cliffs to keep away from predators.


Geladas feed almost exclusively on grass. They eat every part of the plant, favoring one part over others depending on the season.


After a gestation period of 150 - 180 days Geladas give birth to 1 infant. They only mate once every 2 years and the female will have sole responsibility for proving the infant with care.

An hour-glass shaped patch of skin on the chest of Geladas becomes bright red indicating when they are ready to mate. There is no specific mating season, although mating usually occurs in Autumn.

Female Geladas reach sexual maturity at 4 - 5 years, whereas the male will be sexually mature after 5 - 7 years.


Possible predators of Geladas are large carnivores.


There are two subspecies of Gelada and these are:

Northern Gelada
(Theropithecus gelada gelada)

Southern Gelada
(Theropithecus gelada obscurus)

Interesting Facts

Although Geladas are not actually baboons (they are close cousins) they are also known as the Lion Baboon.

Gelada is pronounced "jeh - lah - da".

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