When we were in South Africa, we took a guided drive down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. Our guide Maxwell was pretty great. I have to say, one of the things he said that really stayed with me was this: “If you see any baboons, please, do NOT open the windows to feed them.”
Apparently the route we were taking is teeming with baboons, just all over the place. Frankly, it sounds like my nightmare. I think monkeys of all kinds are super-disgusting, and would probably never try to feed any. Those who know and love me, love me in spite of my notorious coldness toward, well, anything needy, or purporting to be needy. We can’t even have pets, I’m afraid. So, a begging baboon would definitely not cause any sort of empathy to well up inside of me.
Maxwell went on to tell us a story. One time the van was surrounded by baboons, and someone OPENED A WINDOW TO FEED ONE. “But it’s hungry,” she told Maxwell. “NOOOOOOOO!” Maxwell replied, as rabid baboons flooded the interior of the van, and he somehow managed to get them out of there, but it was a very stressful time for him. This is the story he relayed to us, begging us to not try to feed baboons.
I whispered to Andrew, “If any of these other tourists try to let in any baboons, I’m going to freak out on them. It will not go well.”
As luck would have it, and it DID turn out to be a very lucky day, we encountered no baboons whatsoever. And I have reason to believe that even if we did, no baboons would’ve been let into the van. The other four people we were touring around with were also very no-nonsense. They didn’t have time for this wandering off and getting lost business, which I’ve seen other tourists do on separate occasions (okay, I’ll admit it… I myself have done this once… but ANYWAY…).
So, we saw ostriches instead! Magnificent-looking birds.
I hear they’re among the stupidest animals you could encounter. They also are very strong and dangerous. Look at their dinosaur-feet!
When we were showing these pictures to a friend who knows a lot about animals, he basically alluded to the fact that we must be very dumb as to venture this close to ostriches. You should not do that. But then he saw this picture:
Now THAT is the safe way to get up close to ostriches.
Unless they can peck through the glass.
Coming soon… we arrive at the capes! (Is that what they call them?)