You just never know what will happen around Harnas. A few days ago, Marieta was getting ready for her bath one evening. The tub was full, she was naked, and she was just ready to step into the bath when BANG--her bathroom door flew open and in ran six baboons.
These are the group that include Coco and Jessie, two of the baby baboons that I wrote about last spring. Here's what they looked like back then: Now they're more grown up, of course--bigger and stronger--but Coco, especially, is still Marieta's baby girl. So when someone had trouble closing their enclosure gate while leaving (they're fast little creatures) and they all escaped, the first thing Coco did was head for Marieta's house where she had so many wonderful memories.
So the other five followed her as Coco ran right for Marieta's bathroom. And there was Marieta, without a stitch on, trying to close the door before the whole world came running in to catch the baboons.
With the door closed there wasn't much extra room for one grown woman and six teenage baboons whose lives are built around causing mayhem. While she struggled to get her clothes on, they jumped in the tub and swam, grabbed things off shelves, pulled out the toilet paper, and generally did what they do best--create confusion. This is what it looked like AFTER it had been partially cleaned up, the shelves lifted back up (they had pulled them over) and the water mopped.
Finally Marieta got her pants on and a shirt (but no underwear--and she was wearing drawstring pants, so she was worried one of them would pull the string and her pants would drop). She called for help, and the helpers got all of them back except Coco--who clung to Marieta. She had to walk her back to the enclosure herself.
What fun at bathtime, huh?
I love these little monsters. I got so close to Jessie and Coco last spring. Both of them had accidents of one kind, and I spent all day with Coco once when we ran her to Windhoek to a vet (I think I have an earlier blog--in January--about that.).
This morning I went into their enclosure, gave all six a couple of peanuts each (it distracts them so I can get in more easily). Then I just watched the four play while Jessie and Coco sat in my arms, grooming me. (I can definitely say I'm free of fleas and ticks because they checked my whole body, my scalp, and my face.)
A lot of people are afraid of baboons--some of the volunteers prefer not to deal with them--but I have to admit that I'm not one of those. They can be so much fun. Sure--when they get older, they tend to become more dangerous, and at that point I'd much rather go in with the lions or cheetahs than deal with the big ones, but when they're small, they are a lot of fun. I've helped raise a lot of little ones: my first trip here, it was Moses, Ita, Jacob and their group. Then it was Gracie and Frikkie and others. Last trip was Coco and Jessie and the four that have joined them. And now I'm working my way in with Elvis and Loede (who are still a bit wary of me, especially when Marieta, their mum, is around).
Big baboon fun!