Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't mess with baboons!

In Africa, baboons figure in the list of main worries for many development workers. This is especially true in the case of the human-habituated troops that roam freely around villages and theirs outskirts. This animals approach houses to scavenge on rubbish and organic residues, and it’s pretty frequent to see them close to our house. But their courage doesn’t finish there: they adventure inside the houses, where they will shamelessly steal any onions, bananas and other fruits and vegetables in their reach. Hence, one of our rules is keep always the doors closed!

Thinking about the next robbery... or just feeling lazy?
Thinking about the next robbery... or just feeling lazy?

Needless to say, if you encounter a troop of these animals in the forest, and they don’t run away (and don’t think otherwise: this is the most usual scenario), you don’t have any other option than politely wait until they decide to let you pass. And seriously, you don’t want to do it otherwise: a male baboon standing in his back legs may be as tall as many girls I know, being much heavier and having way longer fangs than them.
Nevertheless, although they can be cocky and defensive, they don’t dare to attack humans. But these behaviours are pretty frequent among baboons living in highly perturbated environments, and may lead to several problems.
A simple piece of advice: if you come to Africa, don’t mess with baboons!