This story is a part of the Stories She Told series.
At the end of my semester in South Africa, my classmates and I traveled to Cape Town. Our third day there, we visited Cape Point. It was GORGEOUS and we saw penguins and ostriches, and that’s all I have photos of. But what went less-documented was a memorable run-in with some baboons.
The baboons at Cape Point are like bears at Yosemite or squirrels at The Company’s Garden (if ya know ya know). They’ve been fed by tourists for years, and fearlessly take food right out from under their noses. I saw one climb down the hill, shimmy down a column of the visitor center, and charge across the parking lot at a lady eating a sandwich. She yelped and threw the sandwich and the baboon happily ran off with it.
The pathway to the lighthouse was packed with tourists. I put away my camera to take in the view of the ocean with my eyes for a little while. I wish I hadn’t.
Out of nowhere, a baboon appeared on the trail ahead of us, climbed up the back of a tourist, and pulled off his backpack, PANTSING him in the process. I’m talking pasty bare buns at one of South Africa’s biggest tourist destinations.
I started to backpedal down the hill, but I was frozen, half laughing, half whisper-yelling “oh my god I just saw that guy get pantsed by a baboon. Like I saw his butt.” The tourist pulled up his pants as the baboon expertly unzipped the backpack and found exactly what it had been looking for: Hubba Bubba bubble gum tape, which it bit right into.
Then Brett remembered she had a banana peel in her backpack. Panicking, we kept watch (as if we would have been able to fight off a baboon) as we encouraged her to chuck it into the bush. This was the most harrowing moment of my time abroad.
The touris was eventually able to get his bag back and we stepped around the baboons blowing bubbles and headed on our way.
Really the only evidence I have of this moment is the video that @livnip took. Besides that, you’ll just have to trust me and enjoy the pretty pictures that I *did* take that day.
Today, I’m wondering what the baboons are up to, now that the park has been closed for over a month. Also, what is that tourist up to? Did he ever recover? Because I haven’t.
This story has been modified from its original version. View the original version on Instagram.