Most times the show of teeth appears to be a bit of ‘sabre rattling’, but on this occasion, it was the real deal! We heard them before sighting the pandemonium on the road ahead. High decibels: “WAHOO, WAHOO” rang out, accompanied by what can only be described as howling hysteria by the rest of the troop. Baboon behaviour can be daunting and I was glad to be in a car and not on foot. One has to be respectful of their wild ways and keep a good distance away. The chase was on – the adversaries were locals from the Smitswinkel Bay troop. It’s interesting to note that the subordinate of the two is the ex-alpha, deposed by a younger, brawnier and far more bolshy character from the Plateau Road troop. He’d staged a coup a couple of years ago, yet the ‘Ex’ was still hanging round with his females in a lesser role. The action took place inside the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve, which of course is not where they are supposed to hang out; but what’s a fence in terms of agile, wild roaming animals. The irony of the Cape Town baboon conservation management policy is keeping the ‘urban edge’ troops out of the reserve, and not in.
Two photos from the past; the bad old days when the Smits troop habitually raided homes and cars.