Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Arrivals

We got some new baby baboons the other day. A farmer near the Botswana border caught the pair (two females) in a trap, called Harnas for help rather than shooting them, and then Frikkie and Sissel went to pick them up.

They're very young--smaller by far than Coco and Jessie. As you can see in the picture, one even still has a pink face--which they only have when they're babies. Then it turns black.

Pretty wild still. We've only had them one day, so they haven't got used to humans holding them and feeding them with bottles.

The big news is that, for the first time, Marieta suggested that we name them after ME. That's right, people out there, there are now TWO animals on Harnas named after Yours Truly.

At first I resisted because "Barbara" isn't exactly a cute name for a baboon, but then I remembered that my grandfather on my father's side used to call me Bobbie. I always liked that and kind of wished other people would use that nickname, but that just didn't work out. So the one with the pink face is named Bobbie. (It's also cute because the Afrikaans name for baboon is "bobbejaan"--pronounced "Bob-ee-yon"--so it's a bobbejaan named Bobbie.)

I told Marieta that she should choose the other name but she said she was exhausted from naming animals and that I should name the second one to kind of match the first. So in a total fit of egocentric behavior, I used my middle name, Anne. (No Beach Boys jokes, please.) So the second one, with the blacker face, is named Annie.

So far they act a lot like me--they're totally uncivilized, scream a lot, refuse to do what others want, and bite when they get mad. But Marieta and I are going to work with them a lot today and get them used to our touch. Tonight she and I will each take two of the four babies for sleeping. I'm so glad that Marieta trusts me enough to let me help.

What fun to work with baby animals! By 8:00 yesterday morning, I had already been peed and pooped on twice! Classic Harnas.

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