In the Neighborhood

11 Jul

They can open car doors.

I have never thought much about baboons until I came to South Africa. The phrases that came to mind were, “Crazy as a baboon,” “Ugly as a baboon,” and for some reason the lyrics to “Bingo, Bango, Bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo.”  But baboons are serious business here. Because man has expanded his environment into the territory that was the baboons, the baboons have not moved, they’ve adapted. They have learned that it is much easier to steal a sandwich than it is to hunt for food in the wild.

There are baboon stories every where. People tell other people about the latest home invasion.  The little local newspaper had a list of what not to do if you confront a baboon.  This includes no eye contact, do not chase them, do not try to wrestle food or a purse away from them, when you see them in the road lock your doors and windows.  This last one is a bit dated as baboons have learned how to open car doors. If a window is open, they reach in to grab whatever they can, food, a purse, a backpack. Parents of small children must be especially vigilant as these primates will jump on a child and may bite. Dogs and cats are also susceptable to baboon aggression.

All in all, if we ever wondered whether this was a jungle, the baboons remind you. Groucho Marx thought they were funny but he was from New York.

5 Responses to “In the Neighborhood”

  1. Dede July 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Cayuga Heights has the deer issue, you have baboons. “It’s always something!”

    I await the first pictures from the front lines…

  2. californian July 11, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    “We’re not in a Kansas anymore.”

  3. obie July 11, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    Baboons? Let me guess, the yellow manhole cover in the photo with “FH” is the where you climb in “FOR HELP” when running away from the Baboons? 😉
    Hope you’re not thinking of a new pet.

    • Lori McGirl July 13, 2012 at 2:08 am #

      your description of what you have done and your home sounds interesting. I guess the rules for wild animals is always the same, but hopefully we are never tested. I saw on the Anderson Cooper show today a guest saying they swam with the great whites in Cape Town of course in a cage. is it going to be Dana’s adventure or Jills?

      • Jill July 13, 2012 at 2:15 am #

        Actually Lori, I was going to go shark diving for my 64th birthday. Then the ladies in my hiking group told me a little more about how they chum the water introducing blood and fish chum to entice the sharks. They all encouraged me to sky dive instead and said it is an incredible experience. So I have to find a place to do that for the big day.

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