February 4, 2013

"A minor war has broken out south of Qunfudah in the village of Kiad where large groups of hungry baboons from nearby valleys are attacking residences..."

"Hussein Al-Barakati, a resident of Kiad, said that he feared for his mother’s safety as she lives alone near the valley...."
Adel Medini, from the town of Helli, has his own take on the recent scourge of baboons: “It’s a daily game of hide and seek. The baboons are targeting empty houses and are well aware of what they are doing. The assault on the village is not random, as some believe. They proceed according to studied plans. That’s why their attacks do not fail. For example, imagine a resident who is absent from their home for a period of time. Even though it’s just one day, he is surprised to return to find his home in disarray. Some people in this situation thought that thieves had broken into and ransacked their houses … The problem is that the village’s houses are old and non-roofed, and our daily guest is hungry.”

Salem Al-Barakati said that the main reason that the baboons are difficult to stymie is because of their high intelligence. They easily match wits with those out to drive them away.
Via Walter Russell Mead:
It’s not just in Saudi Arabia that baboons see human beings as a prey animal. At the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, there is a parking lot for tourists coming to see the beautiful wild landscape where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Baboons lurk on the edge of the parking lot, watching tourists come and go. They look for car doors that aren’t locked, windows that are left opened, absent-minded tourists carrying food....

[T]he baboons in that parking lot... clearly felt only contempt for their squishy, soft, clawless and short toothed cousins. You could see it in their hard and glittering eyes.
They easily match wits....

31 comments:

ricpic said...

So put a roof on your house!

furious_a said...

They're testing the fences.

Most alarming thing I ever saw at a zoo (after tigers mating) were a mandrill's canines as it yawned.

Bob Boyd said...

I think I'll stick to watching dolphins.

edutcher said...

Anything I might say might be adjudged as RRRAAAACCCCIIISSSSTTTTT.

Levi Starks said...

Would a bolt action be adequate, or would you prefer a Semi-auto? How about clip capacity? 7 rounds enough? Actually I might take Joe's advice and go with a shotgun.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think I'll stick to watching dolphins."

If you think they're smiling and they're coming over to see you because they like you, you've been outwitted.

But as long as you stay out of the water, you're okay. Get in the water and they will -- literally -- try to fuck you.

Brew Master said...

The Baboons wouldn't stand a chance in a real competitive environment with humans.

If it came down to competing for the same food, the Baboons would be dead, and right quick. As it is, we humans see value in not killing off all competition, after all they are not actually threatening our food sources.

They are tolerated as a nuisance primarily because they are no real threat. As soon as they rise to the level of real threat, we will wipe them out.

Steve said...

I once lived on a military base in the Philippines. They posted Marine guards with M-16s at the bus stops to protect kids and their lunch boxes from monkeys. The monkeys learned to avoid the bus stops that had tall men in green.

We were all told that nothing in a lunch box is worth a round of rabies shots.

Balfegor said...

"Hussein Al-Barakati, a resident of Kiad, said that he feared for his mother’s safety as she lives alone near the valley...."

Complete tangent, but this reminds me of my favourite anecdote about Confucius, set forth in the Classic of Rites. Confucius and his students are travelling through the wilderness, when they come upon a woman weeping by a grave. One of the students calls out to her and asks her why she is weeping. "This area is infested by wild tigers," she explains. "Many years ago, they killed my father. Some years ago, they killed my husband. And now they have killed my son." So the student asks her: "Why are you sticking around here? Why don't you move to the city?" And she replies: "Because here, there is no oppressive government." Confucius turns to his students: "See? Oppressive government is worse than wild tigers."

苛政猛於虎也

Bob Boyd said...

"Get in the water and they will -- literally -- try to fuck you."

Amazon portal purchase of the day:
The Dolphin Watcher's Waterproof Chastity Belt - $46.95. Thankyou!

Surfed said...

In Costa Rica where we've been feral surfing since the mid 70's the monkeys were viewed thusly: Day 1 - Cute and funny.
Day 2 - They grab your sun glasses and camera. Arrgghhh.
Day 3 - All monkees must die.

Oso Negro said...

Maybe baboons can help us with clearing out Federal offices in Washington, D.C.

madAsHell said...

I've been to that parking lot at the Cape of Good Hope. It is always full of tourists. There is a concession stand where you can buy sandwiches, chips, and beverages in shiny packages. If you aren't careful, they will approach from behind, and knock the shiny package from your hand.

Yes, they have impressive canines as well. My puny attempt to intimidate them was followed by my quick retreat.

Original Mike said...

"They easily match wits...."

I've lost track of where I saw this, but it was an interview with a park ranger in, I think, Yosemite. He said the problem with designing a bear-proof trash bin is that there is considerable overlap in intelligence between the smartest bears and the dumbest humans.

Bob Boyd said...

"Get in the water and they will -- literally -- try to fuck you."

Flipper, his fins cuffed behind his back admitted to the Coast Guard officer, "I blew a nut in that human.
I wanted to make a little dolphinman baby."

David said...

During my times in Africa only the baboons terrified me. Strong, fast, vicious and they hunt in packs.

virgil xenophon said...

I, for one, welcome our new Baboon overlords..

virgil xenophon said...

PS: Isn't one President already??

(where edutcher fears to tread..)

TMink said...

Shotgun works for me Levi. But a nice rifle round fired at 300 yards might give them pause. They are so intelligent and all.

Trey

Ironclad said...

I am more surprised that the article does not say that the baboons are agents of Satan (read - jewish plot)

That part of Arabia is fantastically poor, ergo the "no roof" part about the houses. It is also partly Shia too, so the government of Saudi Arabia could give a fig toss over what happens there.

Ululating Umlungu said...

Baboons have moved from the Cape Point reserve into suburbia. They regularly force open glass sliding doors, fling furniture through closed windows and ransack homes. Quite a feat considering the levels of security on many a South African home (electric fences, spiked walls, safety gates, bars on windows and guard dogs)

Mitchell the Bat said...

See what I mean?

This is exactly what I'm talking about.

LINK.

bgates said...

Salem Al-Barakati said that the main reason that the baboons are difficult to stymie is because of their high intelligence.

Sounds like the main reason is the houses have no roofs.

virgil xenophon said...

@UU-guy/

I would speculate that the reason for the suburban "invasions" are akin to the reasons that wolves are beginning to re-populate many parts of Eastern Europe and the western United States as the rural population declines and small towns are abandoned due to declining native birth-rates and continued migration to population centers as central governments withdraw basic rural services in a vicious death-spiral..

Carnifex said...

I would suggest that this is a good indication of why zero won.

Levi Starks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Levi Starks said...

I just though of a really wicked way to control, and perhaps discover exactly how smart the baboons are....
It involves anti-freeze

kentuckyliz said...

Why not free clinics for baboon Depo Provera?

ampersand said...

Get in the water and they will -- literally -- try to fuck you.

I thought sharks were the lawyers of the seas.

Methadras said...

Just for the record, the Atlantic and the Indian ocean really don't meet. It's all one large body of water. Thank you.

Ululating Umlungu said...

And, their supposed meeting point is at Cape Agulhus located to the east of Cape Point. It's the most southerly point of the continent, and is where the Benguela and Aghulus currents meet. Having said that, the ocean temperatures to the east of Cape Point are noticeably warmer than those to the west, which is kind of strange if the two currents meet a few hundred miles away.