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Sep 19 2013

Thieving Baboons in Capetown

Yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa, there was a shocking day light robbery right outside of a grocery store. The attacker lurked outside, hiding behind a bush afar while plotting his optimal time to strike.

Not surprisingly, the culprit was actually a Chacma Baboon.

woman and baboon

The bounty stolen was from a box of vegetables that the victim was carrying. He boldly and fearlessly walked up to the woman, and snatched some sticks of rhubarb from the collection of vegetables that she had just bought. With just a bit of resistance from the woman, the chimp was able to make a swift escape with his newly claimed dinner.

baboon stealing rhubarb

Just minutes after this occurrence, the baboon decided that he was not satisfied with his steal. He struck once again on the unsuspecting woman. This time he had his eyes and stomach fixed on a fresh avocado. As the victim tried to dash away to her vehicle before having to sacrifice more of her purchase, the baboon gained on her. In total, he managed to escape with a bag of mushrooms, an avocado, and the sticks of rhubarb.

baboon steals

Currently, in Cape Town, these baboon on person robberies are quite common. Baboons are very intelligent creatures. They are able to observe and recall what days the markets are open, and when they start and finish. With this information, they hang around outside the markets waiting for easy targets.

A few years ago, large numbers of the Chamca Baboons were trapped and put away into research facilities. Though, since, animal rights activists have strived to ensure that this practice was discontinued. In those years, the baboons gained comfortability with humans, and upped their population. Now, hundreds of them live and flourish in the city by raiding, robbing, and gathering food.

The woman that was robbed by the chimp was Cyril Ruoso, a photographer traveling to Cape Town from France in attempts to cover the story of the issue of baboons in South Africa. Looks like she got more than she bargained for!