Baboons are also animals – but what sort of animals?

SONY DSC  I have visited Africa numerous times since 2008 and has experienced a little of everything that I would like convey to new readers. Here’s an old report from a few years back:

One day we were a trip to The Safari Walk and Orphanage in Nairobi National Park. It was a special experience, especially for Fat since she also had birthday. Here they have tried to recreate different environments like African animals live. The program looks quite like what you find in Kristiansand Zoo in the Nordic department. Since the animals had plenty of room, it was not always easy to spot them, at the water hole was empty, but it was midday, and roast hot, so it was perhaps not surprising.

Nevertheless we got when seen animals in different natural contexts, cheetah flaccid, leopard sleeping in tree, kudu in the shade, albino zebra, black rhino (it was now rather brown!), Colobus monkeys etc.

That was when we considered these monkeys that we got the shock – a baboon came dashing straight toward the young girl. I perceived not quite what happened, but Mow grabbed her and hit the baboon in the head with a bottle of water. It was enough that it pulled away, but it did a few experiments later, also targeting another group of women.

This experience was absolutely shocking, not least for the girl and Fat, and was not entirely reassured by staff who said they only attack if they see people bring with them food or drink, and that they only attack women and children! The little girl had an empty water bottle in his hand, it was enough ….

Afterwards I read excerpts from a book by Einar Lunde who told me he was once subjected to highway robbery twice between Nairobi and Mombasa; there was no doubt that the robbers were baboons…..

These monkeys there are certainly observed in many places in Africa. They are the quite large, but usually look quite peaceful – also in the park we visited – where they ran and picked louse apart. But they have some fearsome canines. Often you will see them in large flocks with the big males that demonstrate their power and strength of the other family members.

In South Africa I saw once a cyclist who had punctured. He held on to patch the bike – a baboon just watched him from a short distance.

Although I have met baboons once on the savannah, I was out and walked near a bush area, when suddenly I heard a sound close. When I looked up, I saw straight at a grown “teddy bear” of a baboon who told me that here you should not get any closer. I understood the hint and moved me in a different direction.

Who are the biggest “baboons” in this country, I do not know, but I’ve read the book “It`s our turn to eat” by Michela Wrong about corruption in Kenya (recommended by JP Egernæs, leader of Amnesty International. The book is not sold in Kenya) – and according to her, it is the politicians who are baboons ……

Perhaps this grotesque story of kikuyu-conductor aboard a crashed matatu tells something about greed in some communities. He exclaimed amid the chaos: “Can not these damn passengers wait to die until they have paid for the trip”!


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