31 January 2012 by Julienne du Toit

Mrs Ticklemouse and the baboon

The baboons hereabouts are quick learners. When confronted with sliding doors, the baboons of Pringle Bay simply lift them off the rails, and put them gently against a wall.

I saw a news story today about truck-raiding, bag-snatching baboons causing mayhem at the Zimbabwe-Zambia border post.

They make Mrs Ticklemouse’s baboon sound positively courteous.

Mrs Ticklemouse, you may be astonished to know, is not a real person. It’s a company based in Pringle Bay on False Bay, selling homemade biscuits and rusks (chunky biscotti), started by Freya Stennett. Back in the early days she and her husband and son-in-law were packing rusks. They had a kind of production line around a table.

Suddenly, something made them look up to see a huge baboon sitting quietly next to her husband, intercepting the parcel from him, peeling off a rusk to stuff in his mouth, and carefully piling it on the table.

One was cutting, one was packing, the other labelling, and they were chatting all the while. Her husband kept passing the packages of rusks to a table on his left. Suddenly, something made them look up to see a huge baboon sitting quietly next to her husband, intercepting the parcel from him, peeling off a rusk to stuff in his mouth, and carefully piling it on the table.

The baboons hereabouts are quick learners. When confronted with sliding doors, the baboons of Pringle Bay simply lift them off the rails, and put them gently against a wall. They’ve learnt that rough treatment with glass often means cut feet.

Rob at the local Pringle Bay shop (great pies) said he had to put in a special security door because when he was in the kitchen, they would sneak in. Their all-time favourites are avocadoes, chips and bread.

But baboons are not the only problem. At a local B&B, a Cape clawless otter discovered the treasure trove that was a koi pond, and brought all its friends and family to behold these marvellous bright fish, so juicy and large, and so easy to catch. When they had stripped every bit of flesh from them fish, they laid the skeletons out neatly at the side of the pond, as if to say thank you.

Category: Wildlife

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