Today after work, auntie Anne and I drove along the coast en route to cape point. Prior to the advent of GPS, this had been considered the southern-most point in Africa. Despite being dethroned, it still remains a beautiful spot worthy of visiting, with a large national park, interesting landmarks and sign bearing the new title of ‘southwestern-most tip of Africa’ :)
As we are driving along, we see what I initially thought were dogs along the side of the road. The dogs turned out to be little baboons, and since we had been dying to see some, we stop the car for a closer examination. There were two other cars parked along the crest where we had stopped, both with their windows and doors shut tight which we thought strange but didn’t pay much attention to.
As I am snap snap snapping away shots of the cute little baboons on the mountain, to my left I hear auntie anne exclaim: “Oh look at that big one!” I turn to see a huge baboon, at least three times the size of the ones I was photographing, bounding down the mountainside at a great speed. Thrilled, we stayed in place and watched it come down. Once it reached the road, it went strait for our car. After peering in the driver side window, it then starts to round the car to where Auntie Anne is standing. At that moment, we hear a yell from one of the cars behind us, “GET IN YOUR CAR! GET IN YOUR CAR RIGHT NOW!!”
Hearing the urgency in her voice, Auntie Anne unlocks the car by remote, which the baboon responds to by opening the door JUST LIKE A HUMAN and getting in the car. While initially this was humorous, when he refused to get out of the car at our urging, and open car door coaxing, panic started to set in.
Once in the car, the baboon immediately started rummaging through my bag, eating a pear that I had in there in one bite. He then finds my Tupperware container from lunch, OPENS IT (again, just like a human), and starts stuffing his face with my leftovers. Once he was done that, he chucked it out the door at one of his little uns, who I then noticed were surrounding the car. Shit.
Auntie Anne succeeds in making a dash for my bag while the baboon is in the backseat, but not before catching one hot clap on the head from this hungry mother. shit shit.
As he rampages the car, looking in bags and under seats, I catch a glimpse of his mouth which is bloody and very very scary. Ick ick holy shit.
The woman from the car behind asks me if I have any food on me, I tell her no. She then tells me that she has an apple and that I must open the drivers side door. I oblige, and she chucks the apple. The baboon immediately dashes out the car and after the apple. We get in the car faster than you can say “tell me again why we got out of the car?” shocked at what we have just witnessed, and me shaking like a leaf.
The entire contents of my bag are scattered across the car (and for those who know me, you know I do not travel light), and everything is covered in red sauce (lunch was leftover seafood marinara) and blood. Whose blood, we did not know or care to think about, but regardless, it was disgusting.
A short while down the road the lady in the car who had saved us pulls over and checks to make sure we are okay. Shaken but unharmed, we thank her profusely, while she tells us that we must never stop close to a baboon if we have food in the car. They have been known to break windows to get to it, and kill people by smacking them in the face and breaking their jaws. Upon hearing that I felt ill, and thanked our lucky stars that all auntie Anne got was a little tap.
Needless to say, this was a one-time mistake. Lesson learned. Of course, as soon as we got into Cape Point Park, you couldn’t drive more than 40 meters without seeing a sign that read:
Baboons are dangerous and attracted by food.
Just perfect. Things that would have been useful to know 17 minutes ago.
Once we had calmed down we began to see the humor in the situation, although it will be a long time until I have wont to see another baboon. Those bloody-mouthed savages? No thanks.
After enjoying the beauty of the lush (yet extremely windy) Cape Point park, we began to wonder what would have happened if the baboon had released the emergency brake. Is ‘stolen by baboons’ covered under rental car insurance? I wonder.