Meet Shrinky... A Very Special Baboon From The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Meet Shrinky... A Very Special Baboon From The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Posted by Georgia Wilson on Oct 18, 2018

From her distracted demeanour and noticeably odd walk, it is clear to see that Shrinky is different from her ‘room mates’ at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. Shrinky is a chacma baboon, approximately 6 years of age and has lived at the sanctuary since 2014. 

Raised by esteemed staff member Colette, Shrinky had a strong support network to help her blossom into the beautiful and gentle soul she is today… but Shrinky was more of a challenge to raise than the other baboons previously rescued, as Shrinky has brain damage. Although the Wildlife team are not 100% sure what had caused the brain damage, strong speculations from renowned vets to say the most likely cause was lack of oxygen to the brain during birth. 

It is presumed that Shrinky’s mother was the dominant female of the troop and that she managed to keep her safe throughout her earliest year, but sadly her condition had become too much for the troop and as a result she was abandoned. Shrinky was very small and frightened when she was found in a barn, amongst horses and other farmyard animals. Colette believes Shrinky had sheltered in the barn, likely for the company of other animals, as over the years it has become apparent that she loves the company of all who surround her. 

Shrinky Namibia Wildlife Sanctury

When Shrinky arrived at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary there was much discussion about her care moving forward. Shrinky, unlike her adopted brothers and sisters, needed more attention and they knew her development process would be slower and very different to the other baboons raised at the sanctuary. A discussion of what was best for Shrinky took place, and whether caring for a disabled baboon was feasible – but of course, it was. With a nutritional organic diet, love of staff and volunteers alike and a home with the baby baboons, Shrinky blossomed and now leads a very happy and healthy life.

Once Shrinky had reached a suitable size, the sanctuary tried to introduce her to baboons of similar age and stature but unfortunately the hierarchical nature of a baboon troop came into play and she wasn’t easily accepted into the older group. So, Shrinky continues to live with the new arrivals of baby baboons - that sadly come in all too often. Shrinky’s maternal instincts come to light as she lovingly mothers the smaller baboons. She even played a pivotal role in the recovery of Hope (a rescued baboon who flourished under Shrinky’s friendship – read her story here). 

Although Shrinky’s path may have differed from the rest, her present-day position very much allows her the life of any rescued baboon at the sanctuary. Her health conditions may affect her length of life but undisputedly not the quality as she involves herself in enrichment, daily walks in the bush and belonging to a troop (of the primate and human variety)! 

Shrinky's Story - Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

One thing we can all take away from Shrinky’s story, whether you’ve met her or not, is that life has meaning. The ‘life’ of the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary saved Shrinky, and because of this she in-turn has nurtured the lives of fellow baboons, being a role model of sorts and certainly a friendly face for any newly rescued or injured baboons. Shrinky continues to positively impact the lives of the volunteers, staff members and hopefully, those who read her story. 

Take a look at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary page to see how you can volunteer and care for orphaned or injured baboons like Shrinky. 


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Mattia commented 7 months ago
Life has meaning, it's just about finding it. Inspiring

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