Baboons forage at low tide while Caracal lurks nearby

Summer’s _Careless Tourists

Baboon with the fullest cheek pouches.

The action follows on from the previous post where the international windsurfing set had gathered at Platboom, Cape of Good Hope Reserve.  While most spectators’ attention was on the daring windsurfers out in the big seas, a drama unfolded on shore, when a wiley old female baboon staked out the cars waiting for a raiding opportunity.  And she hit the jackpot – a car door was open and she made off with an easy lunch.  Stuffed into those impressively full cheek pouches are a half dozen crispy breadrolls as well as a banana.

When the baboons lose their fear of humans and start raiding for human-derived food they can become overly persistent and even aggressive in their pursuit of an easy meal and land up being euthanased.   “Problem” people are generally the cause of this change in the animals’ behaviour through actions of feeding or teasing the baboons or in this case where the food was too easily ‘available’.

The protective role of ‘big sister’

It is interesting to watch young baboons act out gender roles.  The juvenile males rough and tumble and play fight while the young females practise an infant-protective role in their play.

While mum is foraging baby scampers off to explore. But he is not left on his own for long before ‘big sister’ comes to supervise his activities.