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Baboon in a Hurry to Cross River Channel

This sequence of photos shows a chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) crossing one of the small channels running alongside the imposing Chobe River in Botswana's Chobe National Park.

The resident baboons are acutely aware of the many crocodiles lurking along the banks of the Chobe. However, baboons must eat and they like to forage for food in the fertile soil between the channels, which means having to cross back and forth.

These river crossings are like an athletic event, similar to an aquatic hop-skip-and-jump, in which as little time as possible is spent in the water in a bid to avoid hungry crocodiles.

Baboon leaps from river bank to cross river Baboon, wary of crocodiles, takes a running jump from river bank

Baboon in mid-air during river crossing .... then soars through the air to keep clear of the water as long as possible

Baboon remains airborne during river crossing and remains airborne like a prize long-jumper

Baboon hits the water during river crossing before the dreaded but inevitable landing in the water

Baboon lands in water during river crossing followed by grim determination to keep head and torso above the surface

Baboon plunges towards far bank during river crossing culminating in a final plunge towards the far bank and safety of land.

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mk II with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM telephoto lens; Aperture: f/5.6; Shutter speed: 1/2000; ISO: 400.

© Scotch Macaskill, www.wildlife-pictures-online.com

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For more about baboons and baboon behavior, please see Baboon Skirmishes.

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