Friday, 17 January 2014

Harnas: Baboon Walk

As much as I didn’t particularly get along with the baboons, I did want to go on at least one walk just to see what it was like. Everyone said that the baboons are totally different when they are outside of their enclosure which does make sense since they are no longer on their home turf. 

I went on two walks in my time there both with the baby baboons. I will back up and say we have baby baby baboons which are the youngest ones and are probably under 3 months old. The next oldest group is the baby baboons which are under 7 months. And the rest are jut called baboons. 

The baby baboons consists of: Ronny (the lone male), Rika and Rosey (has a bad leg). 

I hadn’t been in their enclosure before I went on a walk with them since they are pretty bouncy. But we loaded them up in their cage and took a short truck ride down into the bush. Once unloaded, we all started walking and the baboons are busy running around checking out all of the bushes. 

They are pretty cute when they get tired and want to be carried, they just run up to you and put their arms up. Just grab their hands and pull them up and set them on your shoulder. Which becomes normal position for them and normally an arm across your face/eyes which makes walking difficult. But pretty entertaining! 

The worst part is them getting off you is generally a sudden decision and a quick one at that and they hang on to you by your hair. I lost a bit of hair to them leaping off but still hanging on by my hair. I have short hair which I think worked in my favour. And by the second time out, if I thought they were wanting down I would just bend down and let them off so they didn’t have to use my hair. 

Once we had walked a bit, we would stop at a nice tree and let them climb and play in that for awhile, while we sat down. They would usually come over for a cuddle and to be groomed. During the second walk Rika did do a few dental exams on a couple people. Remember when I said all piercings had to come out before interacting with baboons. This is why. They will go searching your mouth ( natural behavior for them) and if they find a tongue ring, they will pull it out. Svenja, a fellow Snoobob, nearly didn’t take hers out before hand but luckily we convinced her too. 

Through out the course of the walk, we normally stop at 3 or 4 different trees for them to play in. Learn a bit about the different trees and bushes. Try and figure out which way the farm is ( some people are better at this then others! Lol ) 

Also watching for the little herd of giraffes which normally lived in that area. 

I found the walked to be pretty relaxed for the most part. The baboons are pretty different and relaxed and loved bouncy and running around to check everything out. Rika did give us a scare the second time out. She ate something and then seemed like she was trying to cough it up and then almost seemed like she fainted. She really had Morgan, Mariata grand daughter, pretty worried. Of course we didn’t have a radio or water but we headed back to where Owen was suppose to pick us all up and by the time we got there she seemed to be her self again. 

The only downside of the walk was loading the babies back up into their cage and heading back to the farm. They didn’t like it one bit and then knew they were going back to be fed so they got very grumpy. Lara got bit fairly good on the arm before we got them back into the cage. And they spent the entire ride home trying to grab and bite us. All 3 of us were trying so hard to be out of their reach after spending 3 hours with them climbing all over us and not having any issues. Annoying but we lived. 

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