The gangster baboon of South Africa comes to an untimely end

A baboon at the Cape Point National Park, on the outskirts of Cape Town, opens a car door in search of food (Photo: AFP)

(AFP).- As in any good film noir, the end has come quickly for a notorious South African baboon which went on a vicious crime spree and pushed things just that little bit too far.

The alpha-male monkey found himself high on the unwanted list last year after he moved into the scenic Cape Town suburb of Smitswinkel Bay following a stint along a tourist-magnet road.

There, he terrorised residents with more than 40 raids for food in trashbins, lawns and porches, sometimes entering homes while people were inside.

In desperation, locals fortified their homes with “baboon-proof” measures — all in vain.

But it was when the baboon started forming a gang that the authorities realised that things were getting out of hand.

In recent weeks, a splinter group of females and juveniles had started following the baboon, placing themselves in danger, and the boss on Thursday had to be “humanely” euthanized, the city of Cape Town said.

The conservation group CapeNature “supported the removal of this baboon (and) issued the permit,” it said in a statement.

“The city can confirm that an independent veterinarian assisted with the procedure,” it said, coyly casting a veil over details of the baboon’s demise.

Hundreds of baboons live around Cape Town and are often a mugging nuisance as they scavenge properties and attack tourists for edibles — a byproduct of factors including urban areas encroaching into their natural habitats.

The city said the monkeys could be injured or killed, or even contract coronavirus, by being in close proximity to humans.

With the death of the leader, Cape Town hopes the gang will return to their natural habitat.

Source: AFP