Killer ba­boons

go! - - Upfront Letters -

QJIM RANKIN from Eden­vale writes: I saw this car­cass of a ju­ve­nile bush­buck in the branches of a tree at the Makhadzi pic­nic site in the Kruger Park. The su­per­vi­sor told us that ba­boons had killed the bush­buck and hung it there! Does this hap­pen?

AWildlife ex­pert LD VAN ES­SEN says: It might well have been the case. Ba­boons mostly feed on fruit, seeds, grass and wild mush­rooms, but they do eat in­sects, smaller ver­te­brates and even shell­fish and ma­rine in­ver­te­brates on the coast. They also oc­ca­sion­ally catch and eat the young of sev­eral kinds of an­te­lope, in­clud­ing im­pala and bush­buck – search YouTube for some amaz­ing videos. In cer­tain sheep-farm­ing ar­eas, ba­boons some­times catch and kill lambs. Most times they only eat the stom­ach and leave the rest of the car­cass.

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