I don’t like zoos, as I hate seeing animals in the confines of a cage, but was curious enough and so we made the effort and decided to make a day of it. Apparently the zoo is privately owned – now that in itself speaks of a love for nature and animals by some benefactor – praise-worthy! Unfortunately we found some of the facilities lacking – although everything seems clean and the animals seem well fed, it was heart-breaking to see the beautiful proud lions, tigers etc on cement floors – not a patch of sand or grass for them to lie on.
The monkeys were a treat as always – I am always astounded at their likeness to us humans – there must be some truth in evolution! One cheeky youngster grabbed my arm at the speed of lightning, whilst his older, bigger brother grabbed hold of Kobus’s pants at the same time, giving us a both a fright. A tug of wills ensued with us mocking each other and although he seemed aggressive at first, it soon turned into a playful game of tease. I captured some photos through the fence, some showing their male pride and others showing their social skills in grooming each other.
I fondly remember one evening around a boma fire in the Maasai Mara, where we spent the whole evening watching a troop of baboons which had come in to the edge of the river-banks to sleep for the night. Baboons are apparently very homely, and will try to sleep on the same, carefully selected spot every night. In this case some grabbed hold of grass straws to hold onto for the night’s sleep, and some climbed into a tree overhanging the Mara River. At first a whole lot of social chattering and grooming livened up the night until a hush fell over the troop as one by one they fell asleep. That was until two naughty babies made such a racket in still wanting to play, that the leader finally stepped in and gave them the hiding of their lives. With much screaming and yelping they finally settled, but lo and behold, some of the sleepy heads in the tree then fell off into the river. This time there was much chaos, as they are well aware of the crocodiles lurking in the muddy waters and they scrambled out as fast as they can. Of course the whole troop was awake again! Would you believe it, they all went back to the same spot in the same tree and the same scene replayed itself not long after – we were delighted with the evening’s show.
Kobus’s father, who like his father before him, grew up on some Karoo farms in South Africa, is convinced that an evening prayer meeting is held before they settle to sleep, chaired by the troop leader – apparently they gather and all are quiet, except the leader audibly mumbling some noises that sounds like a prayer. Who knows?? I tell you, there is merit in the evolution theory………
- Is this Africa’s next megacity? (bbc.co.uk)