BABOONS AND DOGS – DOGS ATTACK, BABOONS DEFEND
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS – BOTH HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN
For years I’ve lived harmoniously with dogs, cats, monkeys and baboons. I’ve shared my “territory” with six different raiding baboon troops in various parts of South Africa, forcing me to find ways to live in peace with these animals while finding the peace of mind needed to know the dogs and cats that lived with me would be safe.
The wild resident baboon troops have always shown respect for the animals that live with me, including the free-roaming rescued, vervet monkeys that lived in the forest around my home. The video at the end of this post shows how three different primate species lived peacefully together. This is merely one example taken from a time in my life when I was rehabilitating injured and orphaned vervet monkeys.
I’m no different to anyone else; I love the dogs, cats and monkeys in my care and the idea of a baboon attacking any of them is abhorrent.
One day when the wild resident baboon troop arrived, this adult female looked at me, then presented (a friendly and respectful gesture in this context) to my cat.
BABOONS/MONKEY RELY ON RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIPS – WITHIN THE TROOP AS WELL AS WITH THEIR HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN NEIGHBOURS:
If you’re concerned about the animals in your care, it is important to show respect for the baboons and/or monkeys that wander onto your property so that they will offer you the same behaviour. This certainly does not mean allowing them to cross boundaries; we can show them they are not welcome to take our food while showing them that we can be trusted not to harm them.
THE BABOONS/MONKEYS AROUND YOUR HOME ASSOCIATE THE ANIMALS IN YOUR CARE WITH YOU.
Be aware that a wild primate troop in the area has established a relationship with you over time – whether you are conscious of this or not – and the animals associated with you.
Baboons are generally exceptionally tolerant of dogs chasing them and may even play with them. However, they discern between dogs that chase for harmless reasons and dogs that are a serious threat to the members of the troop – particularly the babies.
Sometimes residents have dogs that are particularly vicious towards intruders – it may be the breed or the manner in which the dog was trained and this could create a problem with baboons whereby the baboons are forced to defend themselves against your dog, but this is not the only reason for dogs being attacked. The first question I ask when a resident tells me their dog was attacked by a baboon is: what is your relationship with the baboons – have you ever killed a baby or other troop member?
Your attitude towards the wild resident baboon troop that enters your property may be the reason behind the baboons attacking your dog.
The juveniles in the wild troop were particularly interested in forming friendships with my cats.
BUT WON’T A BABOON GET VENGEFUL IF I CHASE THE TROOP AWAY FROM MY VEGETABLE GARDEN?
Baboon/monkey troops understand your need to protect your property. If you shoot one of their troop members while chasing them away from your vegetable garden, you may well create a problem in your relationship with them but if you adopt non-lethal deterrents, this will be understood and accepted.
HOW CAN I SHOW THE BABOONS I RESPECT THEM WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY SHOWING THAT THEY MAY NOT RAID MY PROPERTY?
- ADOPT NON-LETHAL METHODS TO LIVE IN HARMONY WITH BABOONS/MONKEYS.
- TRAIN YOUR DOG NOT TO CHASE THEM: Some dogs are difficult to train and may not listen but the fact that YOU are showing them that you don’t approve of your dog chasing them shows them you care about their welfare.As mentioned previously, baboons are exceptionally tolerant of dogs chasing them generally but when forced to defend themselves against attack, the interaction may turn violent.
The goal is to establish a friendly relationship with your wild primate neighbours while consistently making sure they know they can’t take food from your property in a way that does not threaten their lives.
Because we live in a human world, we rarely get to see the extent that wild animals are killed by dogs:
Serval kitten killed by dogs
Monkey killed by dogs