Who Gave the Baboon a Knife?

baboons. just like us, but a little smaller, a little less complicated, and a whole lot happier for it

If the past few weeks have had a theme, that theme is ‘ethical dilemma.’

It’s ended up being a time of big growth and learning. I think I’ve made the right choices and taken the resulting consequences, but I’m open to the possibility that I’ve been wrong in places too. It’s been good for the soul. Character building. Yummy.

So this morning on safari, we came across yet another situation that forced me to think it out. I can only hope this one was a little more lighthearted…

As we sat and watched a whole troop of gorgeous baboons resting in the non-shade of a bare Marula tree, I noticed one of them was brandishing a knife.


And here’s exactly how my brain dealt with the situation…

Me: “Oh my goodness! That baboon has a knife!”

My Ethical Conscious: “Oh my god. That baboon really has a knife.”

Me: “Who gave the baboon a knife?”

My Ethical Conscious: “This is so wrong.”

Me: “This is so awesome!”

My Ethical Conscious: “Honestly, what has our world come to?”

Me: “Haha, we want to attract people to our country but even our wildlife carries weapons now. …Watch out! That monkey is armed!”

My Ethical Conscious: “Please don’t call it a monkey.”

Me: “Sheesh. Sorry.”

My Ethical Conscious: “What if it hurts itself? It’s going to hurt itself.”

Me: “Ooh look, it’s a genuine Swiss Army knife! Cool! I wonder what he’ll use the built in toothpick for?”

My Ethical Conscious: “That’s litter. It’s going to drop it somewhere and it’s going to become litter.”

Me: “So now I’ve found three of these little pocket knives out in the bush over the past month. Why does no one ever lose a Leatherman for me to find? Or a GoPro? Or a puppy?”

My Ethical Conscious: “How many hundreds of years does it take a Swiss Army knife and all of its components to biodegrade?”

Me: “I bet that baboon has a whole collection of cool stuff stashed somewhere…”

My Ethical Conscious: “I need to report this through the correct channels.”

Me: “This would make a super-cute blog post…”

My Ethical Conscious: “Wow, we’ve really screwed up nature.”

Me: “Can I think of anything at all that appeals to my sense of humour more than a baboon with it’s own knife? No. The answer is no. Nothing is funnier than a baboon with its own knife.”

My Ethical Conscious: “This is just tragic. Absolutely tragic.”

Me: “Best. Day. Ever.”

So there it goes. What I’ve learned this week is that I just have to let some things be. Tonight, somewhere out there a baboon is sleeping soundly, clutching a pocket knife. Is it right? No. Is it happening? Yes.

you thought i’d bring a real camera on safari?

“my favourite part is the nail file…”

Other sightings from this morning’s safari:


Vervet monkey






Wild dog


Grey duiker


when old people learn snapchat: me as a baboon. or maybe a hippo. not sure.

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