As urban development continues to gobble up more and more natural baboon habitat on the Cape Peninsula, the abundance of easily accessible human food is a massive temptation. So much so that it’s become a turf war as resident baboon troops wreak havoc in several suburbs, opening windows, doors, fridges and their real favourite – the garbage bin – looking for food. Many residents loathe them, forgetting that it’s actually humans who have overtaken the baboons’ habitat.
I spent over an hour delighted by the troop that frequents Da Gama Park near Simonstown while they took their daily meander through the old Navy stables in Glencairn, completely unfazed by horses, dogs or humans. The weather was horribly overcast which meant poor light, so my photos don’t do this 30-strong troop justice. But I was – believe it or not – walking among them, at times just a metre away.
The youngsters are naughty and playful and never still. They are soooo darn cute!
Baboons LOVE pine cones. They are really high in nutrition and I could hear the cracking as they ate.
Mother and child. I was amazed at how the baby hangs on while the mother forages.
My patience paid off – she finally stopped eating and tuned in to the world around her. Hard to believe that I was sitting no more than two metres away from these wild animals and the mother seemed oblivious of my presence.
Nightfall and the troop head for the safety of the trees to sleep.
It was an absolute privilage to observe this troop at such close range, It’s what makes the tip of Africa such an amazing place to live.