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article imageTroops of baboons terrorizing Zimbabwe-Zambia border, steal goods

By Andrew Moran     Jan 31, 2012 in World
Harare - It seems Zimbabwe doesn't have to just worry about corruption in government and disease outbreaks, but also an influx of baboons. Troops of baboons are wreaking havoc on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
News Day reported Tuesday of a phalanx of baboons snatching bags, looting vehicles and causing all around chaos at the border post of Chirundu between Zimbabwe and Zambia as part of daily raids to steal food. Chirundu is located on the Zambezi river close to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.
Media outlets are making light of the situation at the Zimbabwe-Zambia border. The Australian publication, the Courier Mail, filed its article under the title, “Baboons make monkeys of guards.” Although the international media community is reporting in jest, authorities find the situation much more serious.
The baboons are causing injury to travelers. Local authorities have been warning visitors of baboons biting or clapping people in the face if they attempt to defend their property. Sometimes, baboons even destroy cars and trucks in search for food.
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority station manager at the Chirundu border post, Tichaona Phiri, told the outlet that it is hard to contain the baboons because of the size in numbers and their human-like behavior.
“These baboons can smell maize on trucks and considering their huge numbers, it is very difficult to control them,” said Phiri during a hearing by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion. “This is a national park area and that is why there are many baboons, but the problem is that they behave like human beings and are very good tricksters.”
This may be just a Zimbabwe issue because authorities visited Zambia and did not locate one baboon.
Stembeni Takawira, Chirundu assistant regional immigration officer, told the committee hearing that baboons are a delicacy in Zambia. They are killed immediately upon sight by the locals.
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