The place I think of as my true home is Glencairn, on the Cape Town South Peninsula.  It is a sleepy hollow, populated largely by peaceful people who have a great respect for their environment and who, generally, try to make their impact on nature a gentle one.  I kept a house there for many years, until it wasn’t viable for the amount of time we could spend there.

Rose and Brian Ashley epitomize the character of the people of the South Peninsula.  Both are creative and they are a perfect match in their love of and support for conservation.  Brian and my husband have been friends since their teens.

A side-effect, fondly tolerated, of living in this piece of paradise, is the presence of the Chacma Baboons.  These mischievous creatures wreak havoc when they manage to get into a home, their actions appear to be deliberately destructive, but the residents – in the main – bear the vandalism with stoicism in the understanding that the baboons were here first.

Not all of the people, however.  Herewith an account of an incident that happened last week.  The saddest aspect, for me, was that cars streamed by and nobody (until Rose and Brian came along) stopped to take this poor creature off the road.



 Tragic images (by Brian Ashley) of an estimated 3 month old baby baboon with his dead mother. The driver who killed the female apparently just drove off, as did a lot of other drivers – no one else stopped to help.
The female had been previously clubbed by a Simon’s Town resident (not sure how long ago) and lost an eye in the process, we assume the vehicle that hit her, came at her on her blind side. Plus she had electric cable burns on her hands from a recent electrocution. Life is so hard for our urban baboons.

The Waterfall Troop on Red Hill Road paying homage to the female.

An aunt gives the little orphaned boy love and reassurance as they finally take their leave …  we were finally able to remove the female’s body.


29 Comments Add yours

  1. poor thing, the clash vetween humans and animals so often leaves the animal dead

    says me who kills spiders!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Spiders are different, look at the anguish on that baby’s face.

  2. bb(adair) says:

    Such sad photos.I am not surprised that a lot of people are so uncaring.Look how some treat their children…..
    BTW Spiders are not different!All creatures have an important role to play.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Spiders lack the cuteness quotient that mokeys have ;p

  3. adeeyoyo says:

    How heartsore this has made me feel! No words can explain…

  4. Lynette says:

    It just breaks my heart to see photo’s like this…. Just one death like the one you’ve just read about causes so much pain and trauma to the rest of the troop … they mourn their dead like we do. We can only hope that the little one manages to fend for himself and that he has an older sibling to protect and teach him what his mother would have done.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The body language of the large male baboon in the background of the second photo is especially poignant, Lynette. It just screams helplessness.

  5. nrhatch says:

    So sad when “humanity” collides with the animal kingdom in our haste to move to and fro.

    There are no orphans in some troops of primates . . . adoption is immediate, and still I think, “The poor wee thing.”

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, as we say here in SA, ‘ag shame!’

  6. gospelwriter says:

    Sometimes I’m ashamed to admit that I belong to the so-called human race… where is the humanity?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Mee too, gospelwriter, this is too sad.

  7. gospelwriter says:

    Incidentally, I killed a spider today, a small one, I’d pulled on a sock it had crawled into the toe of and it bit me. It was the shock of being bitten that made me kill it – anyway, that’s my excuse…:) But that mama baboon – what did she ever do to anyone?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Very rude of that spider indeed!

  8. Greg says:

    I know we can’t stop progress, but surely we can find a way (as so-called humans) to co-habitate with the animals who were there long before us?

    The first picture is the one that rips at me the most. The little guys’ face with his mother. Too much.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I know, Greg, it moves me too.

  9. Heartbreaking. It shows so clearly that anguish is not simply a human emotion. Thanks Cindy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      See Lynette’s comment above, Kate, the baboons grieve just like humans.

  10. souldipper says:

    Cin, I cannot bear this. This slays me. And we all have our versions in our respective countries!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Too tragice, souldipper, I am humbled and deeply ashamed for my fellow man.

  11. buttercup600 says:

    Heart-wrenching Cindy…I want to cry reading and seeing this!!!! x

    1. theonlycin says:

      I did cry, buttercup.

  12. slpmartin says:

    So very sad…we invade their territory and then expect them to adjust to our invasion like good little captives…thanks for the post from your friends.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you for reading, Charles.

  13. Naomi says:

    Oh no, Cindy, this has made me cry…

  14. Karen says:

    Oh Cin, I cannot believe how unfeeling some people are. The pictures alone have me in tears. How is it that a driver can hit an animal and just drive off like nothing happened? Sure baboons are a nuisance when they shop for takeaways in your bin, but we invaded THEIR space so we must accept that they’ll sometimes invade “ours”.

    *sigh* :`(

  15. Thomas says:

    I doubt the baby survived. I have about 800 monkeys. Baboons, vervets and macaques. I find up to 22 infants chewed up every week. They have plenty of food, good running water, and are separated by troops. Baboons are terrible parents. If a new leader takes over, he kills the infants so the females go in heat and mate with him. Is food is scarce, they will eat the babies or just leave them. If they try to follow, they will be chased and hurt until they can’t follow. Then they usually starve or become food. I have seen a mother throw her infant at a predator to escape. This isn’t good or bad, just the instinct of these creatures. Last week I saw a big male chase a baby and just bite it’s little legs off.
    In my labs I never have had to hurt any monkey. I just care for the injured ones. The little guy is back on his food, but he will not go swinging any time soon, but who knows. I have a macaque with what in a human would be a severed spine at the S1-S2 area. She could not walk or pull herself along. She now has feeling in her feet and can walk a few steps.
    I am hoping that some day I can transfer this healing to human. Instead of being in a wheelchair all your life, you just get a shot and in about a year, your body heals itself.

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