tagged w/ Baboons
These photographs came about after a friend emailed me an image taken on a cellphone through a car window in Lagos, Nigeria, which depicted a group of men walking down the street with a hyena in chains. A few weeks later I was on a plane to Lagos. Abiola met me at the airport and together we took a bus to Benin City where the ‘hyena men’ had agreed to meet us. However, when we got there they had already departed for Abuja. In Abuja we found them living on the periphery of the city in a shantytown - a group of men, a little girl, three hyenas, four monkeys and a few rock pythons. It turned out that they were a group of itinerant minstrels, performers who used the animals to entertain crowds and sell traditional medicines. The animal handlers were all related to each other and were practising a tradition passed down from generation to generation. I spent eight days travelling with them. --- photo essay http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/bizzareweird/43062-nigerian-hyena-handlers-gadawan-kuraThese photographs came about after a friend emailed me an image taken on a cellphone... more
Wow, they need to feed these monkeys more often? They act like they're starving. But these mini-baboons will rip you up pretty good, they have huge fangs. But these guys look conditioned to get food from tourists.Wow, they need to feed these monkeys more often? They act like they're starving.... more
Baboons sniff out a better orange
A baboon is seen near a road outside Cape Town, South Africa, last year.
January 13th, 2011
01:51 PM ET
Want to find the sweetest citrus in the orchard? Ask a baboon.
A group of baboons in South Africa is being credited with sniffing out a new, sweeter variety of orange.
Alwyn van der Merwe, production director of ALG Estates near Citrusdal, South Africa, said the farm noticed that baboons that come down to the farm from nearby mountains each year always went to feed from a particular tree among the thousands in the orchards. The animals stripped the tree clean of fruit well before others in the orchard were in season, he said.
"At closer inspection we discovered that the brix [sweetness grade] of this particular minneola, a soft citrus variety, was much higher than the rest of the orchard and that it started bearing fruit at least three weeks earlier than expected," van der Merwe said, according to a report in the Mail & Guardian newspaper.
" It was clearly a case of a spontaneous mutation in the orchard, which would have gone unnoticed were it not for the baboons,” van der Merwe is quoted as saying.
Growers have begun grafting shoots from the baboon’s favorite tree onto other root stock and hope to be producing large quantities of the sweeter minneola in a few years.
And he knows the baboons will likely be the first customers.
"I'm sure they will have a feast one day when we produce a whole orchard of these early sweet minneolas," he said.Baboons sniff out a better orange A baboon is seen near a road outside Cape Town,... more
Did you hear about the guy who found a stowaway scorpion in his luggage after he and his family moved from Mexico to Toronto? Well, Billy Shawn was very shocked by this deadly visitor, who I guess was also looking for a new place to live. Fortunately, the Toronto Zoo has taken the little guy off their hands, but the encounter may have been fatal for any member of the Shawn family.
Top 10 Animals You Dont Want In Your Luggage
But what other creatures would you not want to find the minute you open your suitcase? Well, here’s our top 10 animals you don’t want in your luggage.Did you hear about the guy who found a stowaway scorpion in his luggage after he and... more
Think Tank is a place to think about thinking. It combines the appeal of orangutans, macaques, and other charismatic species with an interactive exploration of the question: "What is thinking?" Think Tank is unique in the zoo world in that it is about a biological process thinking, rather than a particular animal species or habitat. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/your-details/414-think-tankThink Tank is a place to think about thinking. It combines the appeal of orangutans,... more
Born and raised in London, Nick Brandt studied Film and Painting at St. Martins School of Art.
He started photographing in December 2000 in East Africa, beginning the body of work that is his signature subject matter and style. He no longer directs, devoting himself full time to his fine art photography now.
Brandt's first book of photographs, "On This Earth", was published in October 2005, by Chronicle Books, with forewords by Jane Goodall and Alice Sebold (author of "The Lovely Bones").
He has had numerous one-man exhibitions between 2004 and 2006, including London, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Santa Fe, Sydney, Melbourne and San Francisco.He now lives in Topanga, California....
Few photographers have ever considered the photography of wild animals, as distinctly opposed to the genre of Wildlife Photography, as an art form. The emphasis has generally been on capturing the drama of wild animals IN ACTION, on capturing that dramatic single moment, as opposed to simply animals in the state of being.
I’ve always thought this something of a wasted opportunity. The wild animals of Africa lend themselves to photographs that extend aesthetically beyond the norm of 35mm-color telephoto wildlife photography. And so it is, that in my own way, I would like to yank the subject matter of wildlife into the arena of fine art photography. To take photographs that transcend what has been a largely documentative genre.
http://www.younggalleryphoto.com/photography/brandt/brandt.htmlYOUNG GALLERY- UK Born and raised in London, Nick Brandt studied Film and... more
South Africans battle baboons in city streets
April 26, 2010 10:45 a.m. EDT
Cape Town, South Africa (CNN) -- As natural habitats disappear in South Africa, baboons and humans are increasingly coming into close contact, and conflict.
In South Africa's Cape Peninsula there has been a large-scale transformation of wild baboons' natural habitat into land for housing, industry and agriculture, according to the University of Cape Town Baboon Research Unit.
The result is that wild baboons are surrounded by humans, which the researchers say is causing human-baboon conflict to escalate.
But the problem isn't confined only to the Cape, as baboons are increasingly venturing into towns and villages across southern Africa in search of food, often leaving a trail of damage in their wake.
In the farming village of Barrydale, a four-hour drive from Cape Town, baboons are a growing problem. While some local farmers say they want to shoot baboons found in the village, others favor a more sustainable solution.
Jenny Trethowan, of advocacy group Baboon Matters, is known as the "Baboon Lady" back in Cape Town. She has spent her career trying to protect the primates in the Cape Peninsula, of which there are more than 400.
In Barrydale, she sees an opportunity to tackle the problem before it gets out of hand.
"What is so exciting about the Barrydale scenario is the fact that they are being extremely proactive," Trethowan told CNN.
"In many of the other areas it's been a long time, where baboons have become habituated and trained. Now in Barrydale they are saying 'let's stop this behavior quickly before it gets started,' and that's enormously exciting for me."
Trethowan has pinned her hopes on implementing a baboon-monitoring program in the village. At the Joshua Baboon Rehabilitation Project, just outside Barrydale, Baboon Matters is training locals to be baboon monitors.
The monitors are tasked with patrolling Barrydale and herding baboons away from homes and farms.
"If we can get the monitoring program going quickly before the baboons are habituated I believe we stand a good chance of success here," said Trethowan.
Nola Frazier runs the Joshua Baboon Rehabilitation Project and supports the village's monitoring program. "I don't think the baboon problem is going to go away," Frazier told CNN. "It's a learning curve. It's something that's happening here; it's happening all over South Africa."
An existing monitoring program on the Cape is yielding benefits. Statistics from the Baboon Research Unit show human-induced injuries to baboons are at their lowest for five years. Deaths are also down, and the baboon population is up, which means encounters with humans are more likely.
They do cause incredible damage, and the ideal thing would be for them to be on the mountain and not in the village.
When she's not helping to run monitoring programs, Trethowan takes tourists on walks around the Cape Peninsula to see baboons in what she hopes will be their natural habitat.
But despite the monitors' best efforts, the baboons sometimes stray from their natural environment. The smell of cooking, and windows left open, are practically an invitation to hungry baboons, whose food raids can result in damage to property.
"When I take people to walk, I never describe baboons as something they are not," said Trethowan. "They do cause incredible damage, and the ideal thing would be for them to be on the mountain and not in the village.
"The monitors can struggle without a doubt. What's frustrating to me is to see the residents make little effort to help the monitors. If they were working with the monitors more, the monitors would be more efficient."
When it comes to taking on one of the continent's most opportunistic animals, researchers and advocates say there are no easy answers.
"Baboons are definitely incredibly opportunistic and incredibly adaptable, so from a management point of view it makes it incredibly difficult," said Trethowan. But she said it's these same characteristics that drew her into a life of advocacy for baboons.
"It is hugely amazing to watch how these baboons will adapt to a situation and will seize an opportunity and work with whatever they've got," she told CNN.
"I think we've got a lot to learn from them, in hopes of showing more people the positives in an animal so often labeled a problem."
Robyn Curnow and Mark Tutton contributed to this report
http://www.wildlife-pictures-online.com/image-files/baboon-baby_vf-2947_blog.jpgSouth Africans battle baboons in city streets April 26, 2010 10:45 a.m. EDT Cape... more
April 16, 2010 | 3:51 pm
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia —
She could have lived until 40 in the wild, where the average life span of a lion is double that in captivity. But Maiza is frail and nearly blind after 18 years in the circus, jumping through flaming hoops and performing at the point of a trainer's whip.
Two of her cubs had their fangs cut for trainers who wow crowds by sticking their heads inside lions' mouths. Another cub, not Maiza's, had her claws ripped out at birth -- without anesthetic.
Such stories of abuse, along with clandestine circus videos made by animal-rights activists, prompted Bolivia to enact the world's most comprehensive circus-animal ban.
Maiza, four cubs and a baboon named Tillin are early beneficiaries of the law that takes effect in July. The five cats are headed next month to a California refuge for former animal performers, while the baboon is expected to be housed in a special sanctuary in Britain.
Nobody, however, seems to know what to do with dozens of other animals in small circuses roaming the country. Zoos already are too crowded and, apart from La Paz's, substandard.
Even the group caring for the first five animals, Britain-based Animal Defenders International, acknowledged it initially didn't have a place to put them, and it had to import a specialist in large felines because there were no experts in the country to evaluate and monitor the lions' care.
The Inti Wara Yassi wild animal preserve in central Bolivia, with 1,000 animals, mostly monkeys and macaws, said it could take rescued circus animals, but it would need government support.
ADI, which fought for the ban, said it would like congress to pass legislation regulating sanctuaries and the handling of wild animals before turning the creatures over to preserves such as Inti Wara Yassi.
Even the cost of caring for just the five lions and baboon so far is double the estimated budget.
"I don't dare give an amount," said ADI's Enrique Mendizabal.
Though circus operators were given a year to comply, owner Salvador Abuhadba gave up the cats and baboon last August, saying he didn't want trouble from the new law.
"They were part of my family ... they deserve a dignified retirement," said Abuhadba, who denies they were abused and has renamed his animal-free operation Abuhadba's Ecological Circus. "I don't make the money I used to. People are fascinated with circus animals. But I think I did the right thing."
The animals' new caretakers say they were fed Coca-Cola, chicken scraps and leftovers. They suspect the baboon has diabetes and are working with a primate expert in Britain to find out.
Behind the fantasy, illusion and entertainment, the circus hides a life of animal cruelty, said Susana Carpio of Bolivian-based Animals SOS.
A hippopotamus died in his sleep when his circus pool froze over in the Andean city of Potosi, 13,123 feet above sea level. A dwarf elephant was killed by La Paz's harsh climate in 2007.
"The death of the elephant Rossi moved us to press for the law," Carpio said.
That same year, ADI infiltrated circuses in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia and filmed videos of the animals chained and crowded in cages barely bigger than they were, living in their own feces, Mendizabal said.
If they resisted their trainers, they would be beaten. Elephants were made to do their tricks with hooks stuck in their skin, according to ADI video viewed by the Associated Press.
The same images were given to Bolivian legislators.
"It took two years to pass the law. Some senators feared the next step would be to ban bullfighting that's very popular in the eastern villages," said former legislator Ximena Flores, who sponsored the bill.
While some European countries already prohibit the exhibition of wild animals in circuses, Bolivia's ban goes further, covering circus use of domestic animals and pets as well.
Carpio said it was possible to pass the law because Bolivia has no strong circus lobby, only medium- and small-tent operations that keep their animals in poor conditions. ADI is pushing similar initiatives in other countries and says it has made the most headway so far in Peru.
Shortly after the Bolivia law passed last July, Abuhadba called Animals SOS to come pick up his brood.
"They opened the cage and gave them to me," Carpio said. "I didn't know what to do with them. I didn't have a leash to take them as if they were pets."
The animals were confined to their circus cages until ADI constructed a secure refuge for them in a Cochabamba park, where neighbors at first complained about the roaring and feared the lions could escape.
Subjugated their whole lives, the lions don't have the grandeur or courage of their counterparts that dominate the African savanna. But a good diet, nutritional supplements and painstaking care have allowed them to recover some weight and animal instincts.
They each devour a total of 80 to 100 pounds of red meat during three feedings a week.
"Now their fur has regained its sheen and they groom each other, a good sign of recovery," said Richard Talavera, the chief caregiver.
One Cuban family circus, which has already been fined, still performs with six boxer dogs that play ball in local team jerseys, an AP reporter found. Ekatarina Carranza, who does acrobatics in the circus, says the dogs are pets.
But circuses from surrounding countries no longer travel to Bolivia for fear their animals will be seized.
Major circus operators deny they abuse animals and have tried to distance themselves from the sort of abuse shown in the ADI video. A U.S. court last year dismissed a lawsuit seeking to bar Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circuses from using elephants in performances.
"We take great pride in our animal welfare and our animal care," said Stephen Payne, spokesman for parent company Feld Entertainment, which says circus life can even be beneficial for animals.
"In the wild, elephants are threatened by predators, hunters and starvation due to a dwindling natural habitat," the company says on its website. "The elephants at Ringling Bros. are assured a lifetime of veterinary care, nutritious meals and a clean, safe home."
Meanwhile, Maiza's caretakers say she doesn't have long to live. She and the other lions will travel in May to a 2,300-acre preserve owned by PAWS, the Performing Animal Welfare Society, in Northern California where bears, tigers, elephants and lions that previously lived in captivity and under human abuse now roam.
ADI has committed to paying their keep for the rest of their lives -- $75 per day, plus salary and benefits of the keeper. The organization has not decided if it can take on more circus animals from Bolivia.
"I would love it to be the rule and not the exception," said Pat Derby, PAWS president and founder. "Circus animals never have a nice day. The worst zoo in the world is not as bad as the best circus."
Top photo: A lion eats [a circus animal trainer] at a temporary shelter while he waits to be transported to a refuge in the U.S. Credit: Dado Galdieri / Associated PressApril 16, 2010 | 3:51 pm COCHABAMBA, Bolivia — She could have lived... more
“My Neighborhood Has Been Overrun By Baboons” is a hilarious animated four-minute short film directed by Australian filmmakers Cameron Edser and Michael Richards, with music by The Dairy Brothers. The film had a huge premier on February 21st as part of Tropfest 2010, viewed by a massive crowd of 75,000 at the Domain in Sydney. The film won second place in the Tropfest 2010 Animated Shorts category.
“In My Neighborhood Has Been Overrun By Baboons” a poor guy wakes up one morning and is shocked to find that his home and entire neighborhood has been overrun by big baboons. What if there was nothing you could do and nowhere you could hide? Wouldn’t you go absolutely bananas? Now this little film is just about as silly as it gets, but it does make an interesting point. In some ways, at times we all might get the feeling that our neighborhood has been overrun by baboons!
This piece includes a number of colorful illustrations, as well as an HD version of this very funny short film.
Please visit my website to view the pictures, and to watch this hilarious, award-winning animated short film:
http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/help-my-neighborhood-has-been-overrun-by-baboons/“My Neighborhood Has Been Overrun By Baboons” is a hilarious animated... more
Deciphering the Chatter of Monkeys
By NICHOLAS WADE
Walking through the Tai forest of Ivory Coast, Klaus Zuberbühler could hear the calls of the Diana monkeys, but the babble held no meaning for him.
That was in 1990. Today, after nearly 20 years of studying animal communication, he can translate the forest’s sounds. This call means a Diana monkey has seen a leopard. That one means it has sighted another predator, the crowned eagle. “In our experience time and again, it’s a humbling experience to realize there is so much more information being passed in ways which hadn’t been noticed before,” said Dr. Zuberbühler, a psychologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Do apes and monkeys have a secret language that has not yet been decrypted? And if so, will it resolve the mystery of how the human faculty for language evolved? Biologists have approached the issue in two ways, by trying to teach human language to chimpanzees and other species, and by listening to animals in the wild.
The first approach has been propelled by people’s intense desire — perhaps reinforced by childhood exposure to the loquacious animals in cartoons — to communicate with other species. Scientists have invested enormous effort in teaching chimpanzees language, whether in the form of speech or signs. A New York Times reporter who understands sign language, Boyce Rensberger, was able in 1974 to conduct what may be the first newspaper interview with another species when he conversed with Lucy, a signing chimp. She invited him up her tree, a proposal he declined, said Mr. Rensberger, who is now at M.I.T.
But with a few exceptions, teaching animals human language has proved to be a dead end. They should speak, perhaps, but they do not. They can communicate very expressively — think how definitely dogs can make their desires known — but they do not link symbolic sounds together in sentences or have anything close to language.
Better insights have come from listening to the sounds made by animals in the wild. Vervet monkeys were found in 1980 to have specific alarm calls for their most serious predators. If the calls were recorded and played back to them, the monkeys would respond appropriately. They jumped into bushes on hearing the leopard call, scanned the ground at the snake call, and looked up when played the eagle call.
It is tempting to think of the vervet calls as words for “leopard,” “snake” or “eagle,” but that is not really so. The vervets do not combine the calls with other sounds to make new meanings. They do not modulate them, so far as is known, to convey that a leopard is 10, or 100, feet away. Their alarm calls seem less like words and more like a person saying “Ouch!” — a vocal representation of an inner mental state rather than an attempt to convey exact information.
But the calls do have specific meaning, which is a start. And the biologists who analyzed the vervet calls, Robert Seyfarth and Dorothy Cheney of the University of Pennsylvania, detected another significant element in primates’ communication when they moved on to study baboons. Baboons are very sensitive to who stands where in their society’s hierarchy. If played a recording of a superior baboon threatening an inferior, and the latter screaming in terror, baboons will pay no attention — this is business as usual in baboon affairs. But when researchers concoct a recording in which an inferior’s threat grunt precedes a superior’s scream, baboons will look in amazement toward the loudspeaker broadcasting this apparent revolution in their social order.
CONTINUED...Deciphering the Chatter of Monkeys By NICHOLAS WADE Walking through the Tai forest... more
Visitors to South Africa's premier holiday destination who are worried about becoming victims of the country's high crime rate could find themselves instead robbed by a more furry kind of felon: baboons.
The cheeky primates have learned how to open car doors and jump through windows in pursuit of tasty sandwiches and snacks.
City officials are battling to control the increasingly aggressive troupes and there are fears the problem will only worsen with the influx of visitors to Cape Town during the World Cup next year.
On Tuesday, a troupe of 29 baboons raided four cars outside Simon's Town, a small coastal neighborhood. A baboon dubbed "Fred," the leader of the group, opened unlocked doors and jumped through windows to search for food.
He ransacked a bag in the back seat of a red car as a couple panicked about their passports. A girl screamed nearby as a baboon hopped into her car through a back window. Others climbed on car roofs and hoods, looking for ways inside.
Many of those who stopped to watch the raid had their own cars broken into by other baboons.
"We spend the whole day basically rescuing tourists," said Mark Duffels, a volunteer who monitors the baboons in an effort to keep them at bay.
There are about 420 baboons in 17 troupes that roam the city's outskirts, especially the popular scenic sites along the coast. Baboons are a protected species under South African legislation but their persistent pursuit of food has led to conflict with residents.
The baboons associate humans and cars with food although people are strongly discouraged from feeding the animals.
But Justin O' Riain, head of the baboon research unit at the University of Cape Town, fears that the influx of visitors next year will only feed the primates' taste for human foods even more.
"Tourism is going to go through the roof, and this equals exposure to naive people and rich pickings," he said. "People who stop the car, they're going to get raided."
Concerned Simon's Town residents asked Monday for a crossing gate to be put up on the road that leads to the nearby Cape of Good Hope nature reserve.
Cars would be stopped before they enter baboon territory and given a brochure in their native language explaining why they should stay in their cars, lock their doors and close their windows if they see baboons.
"We're so anxious about tourists who can't read or understand English. It puts them at risk," said Liz Hardman, who is leading the campaign. "The perception is that the baboons are harmless and they're not. They're wild animals."
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AF_SOUTH_AFRICA_BATTLING_BABOONS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2009-11-24-15-37-49Visitors to South Africa's premier holiday destination who are worried about... more
Animal welfare groups voiced outrage today after the restaurant critic AA Gill said he shot a baboon on safari "to get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone".
In a Sunday Times column, Gill recounted in detail how he shot the creature from 250 yards while hunting in "a truck full of guns and other blokes" in Tanzania. He said he felt the urge to be "a recreational primate killer" before shooting the animal through the lung.
what a tosser, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/26/aa-gill-shot-baboonAnimal welfare groups voiced outrage today after the restaurant critic AA Gill said he... more
Planning a visit to see the baboons at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside, U.K.? Don't veer off the suggested path or your rooftop luggage — and your panties — could become property of the monkeys there!
The chimps who reside at the park’s baboon exhibit have developed quite a reputation of tearing off windshield wipers or damaging car mirrors when people drive into the center of the park instead of following suggested routes.
"[Animals] do legendary damage," David Ross tells People Pets. "But the baboons have reached a new level." After several baboon luggage break-ins took place earlier this year, Ross and his team constantly warned visitors about the kind of damage the monkeys could do. "We have a car-friendly route and were advocating everyone take this route," he says. "Some didn't believe us [and] wanted to go in. And they were going to get their luggage stolen."
So Ross staged a set-up: He borrowed a junkyard car, recruited colleagues to donate old clothes for storage in a rooftop luggage box and drove through the baboon exhibit with two photographers capturing the mayhem.
Sure enough, within minutes, the largest baboon (weighing roughly 25 kilos or 55 lbs.) sprung on top of the box, jumping until it flexed and popped open. Immediately, 140 baboons dove in for a luggage-stealing frenzy. "One put on a hat and walked across the road!" says Ross. "Others just played with the stuff, ladies' underwear and everything. They had an absolute ball."
The picture above is just one of the shots Ross and his team have been showing visitors before they drive through the park as a warning of things to come. The response? The photos have only been on posters for a few days, but they've had an impact. "We've had one or two luggage boxes through since and they've all seen the footage — and they're taking the car-friendly route," he says. Mission accomplished!Planning a visit to see the baboons at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside, U.K.?... more
A clever group of baboons in Knowsley Safari Park has figured out how to open rooftop luggage boxes on cars and is wreaking havoc on visitors.
The animals have been known to tear off the odd wiper or wing mirror, but recently they've been targeting cars carrying the roof boxes. Safari park bosses are now warning visitors with the boxes not to drive through the park - instead sticking to a car-friendly route outside of the baboon enclosure.
The park's manager, David Ross said: 'Their technique involves the largest baboons jumping up and down on the box, flexing it until the lock bursts open, then the rest of the baboons pile in to see what they can find.'
Gotta love the woman's face in the photo as the baboons run off with her knickers!A clever group of baboons in Knowsley Safari Park has figured out how to open rooftop... more
Having a daddy around when they are young is good for little girls. Baboon girls that is. A study found that female baboons raised in groups with their fathers had a longer reproductive life than other baboons. Having a daddy around when they are young is good for little girls. Baboon girls that... more