Baboon on the loose at container depot

Eileen van der Schyff

Workers had the surprise of their lives at a container yard in Walvis Bay yesterday morning, when a baboon emerged from a container that had just been offloaded from a truck. The baboon was later captured by Mr. Naudé Dreyer, a local who have distinguished himself at various occasions in the past in rescuing stranded whales, dolphins, seals and now a baboon added to the list.

It is believed the animal entered the container when it was loaded in Zambia or just before it was inspected and sealed.
Fortunately, there are no signs the animal was smuggled.
It is further believed the animal spent at least a week in the sealed container without food and water between Zambia and Walvis Bay.
When workers opened the container yesterday morning, the baboon ran out. The confusion that followed scared the animal even more, and it made a dash for a block of containers some 100 metres away. It made use of the small spaces between the containers to hide and evade capture.
When Namib Times visited the scene, his scared little face was visible from among the containers. Very soon the baboon crept into one of the forklift channels beneath the container.
When Mr. Naudé Dreyer, assisted by officials of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, arrived at the container yard, the baboon had made another dash for a block of containers further away. This time around the baboon made for the top of the containers first before again vanishing into the small spaces.
Mr. Dreyer dropped the little fellow a banana which it eagerly devoured.
First a rope was lowered into the space with the hope the baboon would climb out of the crevice and be captured. No success.
A next plan worked. A forklift moved the one container just enough to make space for a capturing net to be lowered over the animal.
The baboon is now in the care of a local vet where it recovers from its hunger, thirst and shock. Plans are to locate the most likely spot in Zambia where it climbed into the container, in order to bring it back to that exact spot and be reunited with its troop. Baboons by their very nature do not accept non-belongers to the troop and would most likely kill it if released locally.
Below: the little rascal spotted among the containers and then safely into the net. A vet is looking after it and soon it will go back to Zambia.

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