He was known to his countrymen simply as Fred. The famous baboon’s hobbies included car burglary, stealing fruits, harassing humans, and sunning on a gorgeous stretch of a South African road around Millers Point.
This week, South African authorities decided Fred’s behavior was excessively aggressive, and put him down. While numerous activist groups such as Baboon Matters and the Nature Conservation Corporation pleaded for his life, their requests to spare the primate were rebuked. The locals too fought to save Fred. One Cape Point man tailed the vehicle containing a caged Fred for miles on his death row journey, his mind perhaps filled with action packed scenes of liberating the rebel baboon from his captors. But to no avail, Fred was euthanized.Fred was an expert thief, and had a keen eye for snacks. He would scout for cars with food inside and break in to feed. In 2010, Fred the baboon injured three people with two requiring hospitalization. Some speculate that this aggressive behavior is the result of being fed by humans around Millers point.
As the alpha male of the Millers Point baboon gang, Fred was an infamous character and cultivated a rather large following. The South African authorities cited his reckless behavior and escalating aggressiveness as the primary reasons for euthanizing him. While the cars around Millers Point may now be a little safer, many will miss the baboon burglar known simply as Fred.
flickr image via vgh.media