By Mark McConville
STUNNING PICTURES have captured the moment a grumpy chacma baboon dished out some discipline to a juvenile animal.
The incredible images show the larger baboon shouting at the younger animal as another one pulls its tail causing the young baboon to yell out in pain.
Other striking shots show a mother baboon holding the thin trunk of a tree as her two offspring swing and play on the branches above.
The amusing photographs were taken in Kruger National Park, South Africa by production manager John Mullineux (34), from Secunda, South Africa.
“These chacma baboons are naturally playful animals,” he said.
“This evening the little ones were especially energetic, but after they made too much noise, an older baboon came to discipline them.
“The games often seem violent but are usually more just fun. The Kruger National Park was very dry again this year as the rains have not yet come. The dust together with the last rays of sunshine added to the mood.
“While in the Kruger National Park, a favourite place of ours, because it was so dry, we could not be picky about subjects, however, every day we were gifted lovely sunset light, so on this day we found these baboons playing in the dust with the sun setting behind them.
“My wife moved a little forward, then a long way back, then turned around, then moved again and again as I followed the action from the backseat and looked for good angles and interesting behaviour.”
The chacma baboon, also known as the Cape baboon, is, like all other baboons, from the Old World monkey family. It is one of the largest of all monkeys.
Located primarily in southern Africa, the chacma baboon has a wide variety of social behaviours, including a dominance hierarchy, collective foraging, adoption of young by females, and friendship pairings.
John, who took these images with a Canon 7D2, explained what he loves about this kind of photography.
“Wildlife photography can be planned but is unpredictable,” he added.
“Some days there is a leopard yawning in a tree with a stormy sky background (one day I can get that sighting) but other days there is just a dry riverbed with a lonely tree.
“However, everyday there is good light, at least for two hours a day there is magic, so the objective is to find a subject that suits the light.
“Then the challenge is to be creative and technically correct at the same time to make a sighting come to life in a photograph such that the excitement and beauty I see in the field is conveyed in an original and visually pleasing way.
“Plus, after it all, it is pot luck, some days are good, others are less good, but I must always be ready to find the art in a moment.
“All of wildlife is interesting. Although the cloudy leopard or black rhino are prized subjects, given good light, these lowly baboons were able to be interesting as they displayed their characteristic behaviour.”