Rogue baboon alert: King Kong of Claremont.
Yesterday saw a rogue baboon wandering the streets of Claremont and darted for everyone protection, including it’s own. He apparently broke off from his troupe to find another, but strayed into some badlands populated by some far meaner beasts.
Before being darted, he was spotted in 3 Cape Town suburbs and even atop the Claremont police station. He had sustained a serious wound to his leg from either a dog or a car. I hope it was a car, because baboons have a reputation of making light work of dogs.
Where they live side by side with humans they become increasingly dangerous as they become tamer and bolder, happily entering houses, cars and camps to steal bags of food. While in Cape Town, please do not be tempted to feed a baboon, as it will likely contribute to it’s demise. They will become bolder and bolder until rangers are forced to cull them.
Baboons are highly powerful and dangerous animals with disproportionately long fangs and yeti-like strength. There is a legend, that a cornered baboon will rip its own beating heart from it’s chest, just to psych you out. Not that smart then obviously. I also heard somewhere that they also have exceptional eyesight and can discern the difference between two tartans (as in Scottish kilt weave pattern) from 2km. Again not sure where I heard that so don’t waste your time testing it.
South African’s abroad love questions like, “Are there, like wild animals in the streets?”, to which the reply is often “Sure, we hang our washing on the backs of rhino and ride to work on Zebra”. To be clear, there is very little wildlife outside of protected areas any more, and of those few that are about 3 of them are dangerous; leopard, rooicat and baboon. I have personally never seen a Leopard outside a park, nor a rooikat. Baboon are very common in mountainous areas of South Africa and tourists can come in to contact with them especially en route to Cape Point and in Gordon’s bay. Close windows!