Tiny rescued baboon gets second chance at life

2016-04-07 16:23
Violet the baby baboon. (The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary)

Violet the baby baboon. (The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary)

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Harare – A tiny baboon has been given a second chance at life by an animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe after being rescued from a pack of dogs.

Six-week-old Violet, as she's been named, was found surrounded by dogs in a wilderness area of Zimbabwe.

Despite a search lasting for several hours, Violet's mother was nowhere to be found, said Sarah Carter of the Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary.

Rescuers found she was suffering from dehydration and shock and handed her to the local authorities, who gave permission for the tiny Chacma baboon to be moved to Twala. The sanctuary is located just outside Harare.

She arrived on Saturday, Carter told News24. 

Judging by the photos of her snuggled up in a towel and posted to the sanctuary's Facebook page, Violet is already doing really well.

Carter said she was being given round the clock attention and bottles of Nan baby formula as she recovered from her traumatic experience. She'd already found a new best friend, a kitten called Paris.

Sweet girl

"She is a very gentle and sweet little girl, adapting amazingly well to her new life despite what must have been an extremely traumatic experience," Carter said.

"She gets frightened if left alone so someone is always with her. She is on Nan baby formula and is eating baby porridge and a little fruit."

The sanctuary offers a "forever home" – where necessary – to a host of rescued animals in Zimbabwe: dogs, cats, donkeys, birds, meerkats as well as lions, Shani and Shungu, and lioness Kaliki, who loves her pink blankie. 

Violet is not the first baboon to be taken in to Twala, Carter said. 

"We have a three-year-old called Antony who is also a great character. Baboons are very intelligent and complex animals with a highly evolved social structure so she needs plenty of stimulation and 24-hour companionship as well as regular bottle feeds during the night," she said.

No fear of dogs

Surprisingly, the tiny baboon shows no fear of dogs and likes to snuggle up to Horatio, one of the sanctuary's rescue dogs "who is always happy to cuddle".

Chacma baboons are found mainly in southern Africa. Females can weigh up to 25kg. They prefer fruit, but will also eat insects, seeds, grass, small animals and fungi.

Carter said the sanctuary hoped to release Violet back into the wild in the future.

"The challenge is finding a safe area where she will have a good chance of survival," she said. "In the meantime she is safe and loved at Twala."

(Picture: The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary)

(Picture: The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary)

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  animals  |  north africa

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