Baboons have learned to associate cars with food. Even though it is illegal to feed the animals, motorists continue to do so. It entrenches a dangerous pattern – people unwittingly contribute to reinforcing the animals’ unnatural foraging behaviour. Over time the adult male baboons start asserting dominance and then become aggressive when confronted by those who try to prevent or curb car raids. The pictures above were taken over a three year interval and are of members of the Smitswinkel troop. The adult male on the right is “Fred” who became highly aggressive in pursuit of human food and had to be euthenased in March 2011. The middle picture shows a juvenile female raiding in 2009. The photo on the left was taken last Sunday, and is the saddest reflection – what future lies ahead for this young male baboon?
One thought on “Baboons raid cars”
Just discovered your blog – the story you tell of baboon/human interaction is both fascinating and disturbing. I write a lot about urban wildlife in NYC and its regions. Here, too, feeding wild animals (intentionally or unintenionally) is at the root of most problems. Sad posts with evocative photos. Good luck!