Submitted by Editor on Sat, 2016-04-23 18:24 Mysuru: Few eyes remain dry when visitors to the Veterinary Care Centre in Mysuru Zoo see a little Hamadryas Baboon clutching an artificial dummy resembling a monkey. The young male infant baboon of hamadryas species cuddles against the dummy that it believes is its mother. The biological mother of the baby baboon abandoned him soon after birth. The mother Hamadryas baboon gave birth to the baby on April 14. After the birth, the mother baboon refused to cuddle its baby, and would not even allow it to remain with her, and refused to breastfeed the baby, resulting in the infant baboon suffering stress and falling ill. Concerned at the mother baboon’s rejection of its baby, which was unusual as baboons are very affectionate and caring for their young, the Zoo staff provided toned milk to enable the infant survive. However, when baby continued to be stressed emotionally due to rejection from his mother, the Zoo keepers brought a stuffed toy similar to the species. Interestingly, the baby baboon hugged the toy considering as mother, and bonding emotionally with the dummy! Explaining the situation, Dr Ramesh, Assistant Director and Chief Veterinarian at the Mysore Zoo, Dr Ramesh said it was the first time that the Zoo was handling a baby baboon. “This is an experience for us. When mother rejected the baby to care her own baby, we decided to take care him. Initially, we thought we would wait for two days, but found that the mother was not prepared to take care of the baby in any manner. So we separated them and brought him to the zoo hospital, and we handed him infant formula milk.” The baby baboon is being cared for at veterinary care centre in Zoo. Interestingly, having close attachment with the toy, the baby baboon refuses to drink milk in the absence of dummy that it now considers its mother!