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​A baboon has been spotted roaming the southern suburbs, and may be injured. People are advised to be alert and not approach it.
A STRAY baboon that is believed to be injured is roaming the south of the city and the Johannesburg Zoo has given out some advice on what and what not do when if you should encounter the animal.

It was last seen in the vicinity of the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve late on Monday, 16 April. It had been spotted roaming the suburb of Glenvista earlier in the day by one resident.

According to Letta Madlala, the zoo’s brand and communications manager, a baboon naturally feels comfortable in quiet areas; however, when it is threatened, it may attack. “Wild animals pose a great threat to both human and domestic animals when they are roaming the streets of residential areas,” she says.

If a baboon comes across a dog, it may kill it by ripping off its torso, or may pick it up and swing it against something until it dies. Baboons do not usually attack humans unless they are threatened and feel trapped. They attack by biting, which causes severe pain as their teeth are longer than those of a lion.

In a residential area, a baboon is likely to invade surrounding homes in search of food and shelter, and so residents are advised to make sure their doors and windows are securely closed. If a baboon enters a home, it may eat any food – baboons are omnivores. In the wild they eat fruit and vegetables, scorpions, birds and even earthworms.

Residents are also urged to be extra cautious if they discover the baboon inside their home. Leave the door open and get out of the way so that it does not feel threatened. Baboons found in a house will try by all means to escape through any available opening.

People are advised to remain calm if they see the baboon as it can read body language and can become aggressive if it detects any nervous behaviour. People should also avoid eye contact with the animal to make it feel less threatened. Also, do not try to take away anything that it may be holding.

The Johannesburg Zoo has four species of baboon – the chacma, the yellow, the hamadryas and the Mandarin. If you spot the baboon, contact the nearest SPCA branch or Free Me on 083 558 5658, says Madlala.

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