Sunday, May 9

The least of our worries

It confuses me when baboons make it into the news in South Africa. We have no comparable phenomenon in the States, unfortunately. The closest I can think of are cougars or raccoons sneaking into suburban homes and making nests or running off with a frozen turkey. The kind of stuff you'd see on Kratz Kreatures.

Such news always human related, at least. This time, the article is about baboons who have been absconding with food at the SA/Zimbabwe border. I'm pretty sure this has been a frequent occurrence for many years, and would not seem to be newsworthy. Apparently the fact that the World Cup is approaching makes this crucial business.

Let it be known that these baboon live in the upper west corner province, Limpopo. Baboons are just these guys that hang around everywhere up there, which means they're aren't protected for the most part. The part I don't get is how this is particularly relevant to the World Cup. The closest stadium is in Polokwane (recently built and named after former ANC YL president Peter Mokaba), but the only games being played there are four minor group stage matches. And at the Zimbabwe border? I think that given the political circumstances, there's not going to be a huge number of people coming over from Zimbabwe to watch world cup matches. My final thought is that it is possible that an abnormally large number of tourists will be headed north into the bush for safaris while they're here for the Cup, and the government is worried about misunderstandings between these tourists and the baboons.

Well, any press is good press, right? Even if these are the very least of the country's worries surrounding the coming World Cup...

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