A smart baboon - can he be as smart as a human?

30 August 2010

By Mwiga Mambo- Tracker, Greystoke Mahale

It was on the 29-July-2010 at 09.00am coming back to Mahale from my off days; I passed by my sisters home at the Mahale mountain headquarters. I got there at a time when she was preparing breakfast in the kitchen. In the bushes around there was a big troop of yellow baboons just hanging by the kitchen and the main house area. They wanted to get something to eat; my sister knew that, and every time she left the kitchen to the main house, she closed the kitchen so that baboons would not get inside. The Baboons then decided to climb to the roof of the house to sit and watch. After she had finished preparing the breakfast, she had to pass the baboon seated a few meters away. The baboon could not bear seeing her walk by with potatoes, sugar and tea. He got up to scare her and see if she would drop the breakfast. But as she is used to baboons, my sister didnt drop but came running inside the main house.

As that didnt work, one adult male baboon climbed down from the roof and looked at us when we were sitting having breakfast on the veranda. He picked up a bucket with some water and started to drag it away towards the bush. I wanted to run after that baboon to get the bucket back, but my sister told me not to as that was their trick to get me away so other baboons had an opportunity to access my breakfast on the table. When he saw I was not follow him, he left the bucket and walk away into the bush and the rest of the baboons walked away to join him. No doubt, they realized they could not trick humans so easily.

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