Today I was just going about my business, feeding my babies, and I had an amusing experience. I was taking the baby baboons their bottles and got to the enclosure and noticed they were a bit wired up--running around, screaming--you know, baboon stuff. I also noticed that it was a mud fest. I got in the enclosure and found out why. The sprinkler nearby (the industrial type, not the gentle backyard type) was turned wrong, and it occasionally sent a stream of water into the enclosure, soaking everyone and everything.
Suddenly, it shot through the enclosure and the baboons (five of them) went NUTS, screaming and running for their lives. I didn't want to get hit by the water, so I stood in the one dry corner and was joined immediately by five soaked, muddy, screaming baboons. They all jumped on me and I had three in my arms and two standing on my shoulders, holding my head (hair). It was hilarious, and I smiled and thought, first--I wish I had a picture of this, and second--this is a pure Harnas moment. I'm wet, muddy, covered in lunatic baboons, and no one would believe me. I slid to the ground and we sat there. Eventually the sprinkler turned its spray and the baboons, one by one, got off me. I tried to get them to drink their milk. The sprinkler happened again. Ditto response. And it happened a third time. I was pretty trapped. But a bushman came along, readjusted the spray, and everything calmed down.
I don't have a picture, but this is one of me holding two baboons about the same size a few years ago. Add three baboons, mix with water and mud, and make everyone scream, and you'll have the picture.
The second picture I wish I had happened not long afterwards--and is also a pure Harnas moment, but much different. Every day I walk out to see my favorite cheetah Atheno. When I got there, I called for him, but lately he's been waiting for me to find him under a shady tree. I did very shortly--I know his favorite spots. I sat down and stretched my legs out in front of me, and he moved over to me, lay down, and put his head in my lap and began to purr. I stroked his cheeks, chin, and head and he kept purring. We sat like that for about 10-15 minutes, and I told him I had to go home tomorrow but that I loved him. He kept his head in my lap, stretched one paw over my legs, and we just sat there for awhile. I so wish I had a picture of that idyllic moment. Just me and my guy in perfect natural harmony. But I couldn't have reached for my camera in my pocket without disturbing him, so I just let him be and I made special note of every sensation, every sound, and every emotion I had. It was perfect.
I do have a short video from the other day, though. This is will give you an idea of our moment together.
So time to go home again. I miss my dogs, American toilet paper, and good water pressure. But I love it here and am so happy that I was once again able to spend time with all my Harnas friends. See you on the other side of the world. BB