South Africa Buckling Under Massive Monkey Crime Spree
by Omri Ceren | December, 2009
Cape Town officials can’t catch a break. First they land in global hot water for World Cup-related mass animal sacrifices. Then they have to go out of their way to promise athletes that they won’t get raped and murdered in the streets. And now they’ve got to deal with a crime wave being conducted by monkeys. We were going to dress up that last sentence and give it a little bit of exaggeration-fueled color, but it is what it is. A crime wave being conducted by monkeys.
The baboons are ransacking cities in organized troupes numbering dozens, complete with gang leaders and even gang nicknames. The head baboon is apparently called “Fred” and – while we don’t have a picture of Fred – we kind of imagine him in a leather mask a la Mad Max. South African officials are trying to “keep them at bay” and failing, confirming that as a simple matter of what words mean, the animals are literally taking over:
City officials are battling to control the increasingly aggressive troupes and there are fears the problem will only worsen with the influx of visitors to Cape Town during the World Cup next year. On Tuesday, a troupe of 29 baboons raided four cars outside Simon’s Town, a small coastal neighborhood. A baboon dubbed “Fred,” the leader of the group, opened unlocked doors and jumped through windows to search for food. He ransacked a bag… A girl screamed nearby as a baboon hopped into her car through a back window. Others climbed on car roofs and hoods, looking for ways inside… “We spend the whole day basically rescuing tourists,” said Mark Duffels, a volunteer who monitors the baboons in an effort to keep them at bay.
This isn’t as bad as the organized monkey campaign in India to murder anti-monkey politicians, but that’s obviously where this is all heading. We’re not saying folks should be heading for the hills, but folks should be heading for the hills.
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About the Author
Omri Ceren enjoys: solitary travel, magnificent ruins, ancient abodes, zoos, museums, urban photography, nature photography, plentiful wifi, vodka. He dislikes: people who talk on airplanes, people who are friendly in bars, people who strike up conversations at bus stops, people who stand too close in lines, people, people's children. He lives in downtown Los Angeles.