Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 14/07/2011

Are you trying to make a monkey* out of me?


I’m not a great fan of Baboons, Mandrills I can dig but Baboons always look too cross to me to have any empathy with… that and they always look like they’d rather just rip your arms off at the first chance. It’s probably doing the animal a huge disservice, but I just haven’t really liked them until I saw this troop at Lake Nakuru (Have I mentioned I’ve been there recently? Oh I have? Sorry!). Whilst photographing the Hammerkop, the one you may have seen in my blog several days ago, we stopped by a bush which seemed to be being used as a Kindergarten for these youngsters whilst the adults either snoozed or foraged for food. As with the young of other animals we saw, these were in a playful mood and were wrestling in the bush as any young child would do.

When not playing I did feel that these youngsters looked quite mournful, their large eyes seeming to show their fragility and persecution… then you take one look at an adult Baboon and all such thoughts disappear (and you’re just glad you’re safe in a vehicle – well, you THINK you’re safe… where does a baboon sit? Anywhere it wants!). I particularly like the photo of the baboon that has a small twig in it’s mouth – I can see a future flautist in the making.

There I go again, anthropomophising but it’s often quite difficult to detach yourself from such thoughts when they are echoing actions that we ourselves as a species make. After all we are just animals that have a bit of an over inflated sense of our social status in the animal kingdom, there’s not much difference from me using a spoon to eat a tub of ice-cream and a gorilla using a twig to get at some honey (hey, what do you mean you can quite clearly see the resemblance – I was talking anthropologically not literally!) .

I think I should quit before I dig myself further into a hole! Goodnight…or as I prefer to say… Oook!

* a monkey is slang term for £500, if you are making that out of me – I’d like a share please!

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