I am in bed and keep thinking about this baboon. He probably passed out somewhere in a corner on this hospital ground. Sleeping is not possible, the sun is coming up and before it is completely light the phone rings. The baboon has been causing problems and apparently people have managed to lock him up in a room. We were all sleeping with our clothes on, so within a couple of minutes we are ready to take off. We reach the hospital ground and decide to split up. After some time we see the baboon again. He looks amused, like he is reigning this area. Maybe he is enjoying the crowd, the excitement of the people when he gets close to them again he runs and stops again, just wondering around. It is strange to see a baboon acting like this. When the veterinarian arrives with the dart gun, she asks me if I can keep up again so we can outsmart him this time. I look at my shoes, she looks down as well…no need to spend more time. We start to follow him.
I follow him through small corridors in the hospital, I see people waiting in line, in wheelchairs and some woman holding their babies. It crossed my mind that we might end up with a baboon entering a surgery room. He jumps out of a window and somehow manage to climb on a rooftop between some buildings. I get lost and don’t know how to get out of the building. A local man takes my hand and he starts to run with me, helping me to get out of this maze of too many people, stairs and corridors which all look the same. Finally outside I feel relieved and I see the wild baboon jumping over another wall. We find ourselves on a tarmac road outside the hospital area. He starts to run towards a T-junction and I see many cars, we are now in the middle of town. Cars are everywhere, they don’t even care that a baboon is running on the streets. A man shouts at me: Madame, is that your baboon?
He enters an open area and starts foraging near a little house. After us shouting and hearing all the commotion the owner walks out with a machete in his hand, he sees the baboon, goes back into his house and closes the door. The veterinarian tries again, but this baboon is now way too familiar with this lady with the dart gun. She fires and he moves. When he walks around a large building, we see our change. I follow him and my colleague goes around the building, I quickly position myself where I can see both of them. Now we are in the right spot! The baboon turns around the corner and there she is standing 2 meters away from him and she fires. Full on; a hit in the shoulder, he is not amused and even walks up to her and another colleague. Luckily he is just telling them off and runs back to a crowded area. I see him slowing down, the drugs is working. On a strip of grass surrounded by classrooms with children he sits and finally drops. He is down. People start to clap and cheer. After giving him a couple of minutes we check him and drop a towel over his eyes. Our car arrives, we lift him in the back of the car and drive to the centre as fast as possible. After a quick check we place him in his new enclosure to wake up….I wipe the sweat of my face that now looks like a tomato that wants to explode: baboon rescued and no people got injured, time for a break.