South Africa to Euthanize Baboon Mugger
CAPE TOWN - A notorious baboon named Fred known for burglaring parked cars and mugging tourists at a scenic Cape Town look-out has been captured and will be euthanized, conservation officials said Friday.
"The Baboon Operational Group had to make the difficult decision to euthanise a raiding baboon in the Smitswinkel Bay area, commonly known as Fred," the city of Cape Town said in a statement.
Fred, a brazen alpha male baboon is targeting cars with bags and visible food, but it is his ability to open closed car doors that surprises passersby along the scenic route to Cape Point.
"This baboon's aggression levels had recently escalated to the point where the safety of tourists, motorists and other travellers along the road past Smitswinkel Bay was being threatened," the city said.
Authorities regularly warn tourists not to feed baboons, which encourages aggresive behavior.
In 2010 Fred physically attacked and injured three people, of which two of them required medical attention.
"Attempts to use monitors to thwart his raids were only initially successful, but over the previous summer he had resorted to attacking monitors who tried to prevent him from getting into parked cars."
Image (not Fred): Tjeerd Wiersma / via Flickr