Top matric achiever discovers stray baboon


An 18-year-old Bloemfontein matriculant, who recently scored seven distinctions in her final exams, made a wild discovery on Monday 1 March, finding a baboon hiding underneath her mother’s vehicle in the Free State capital.

OFM News reports that Cara Taljaard, who was a grade 12 learner at Oranje Meisieskool last year, and her mother, Carina, were celebrating the teenager’s recent academic achievements and were parked at the Liberty Building where her mother is employed, when she made the fascinating discovery.

Cara spoke to OFM News after officials from the Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea) were called in to rescue the baboon who had taken refuge under the Taljaard family’s red vehicle.

“I was just approaching the car and I was actually on my phone texting. I saw there was something in front of me, but I thought it was a shadow from a tree or something. And luckily I looked up, and when I realised what I saw and the thing was reaching out to me, I just yelled and told my mom there is a baboon underneath the car.”

Cara says her mom didn’t believe her, thinking her daughter was speaking of a monkey, but then she took a look herself and realised it was indeed a baboon.

The officials sedated the baboon before taking it into their care. Destea spokesperson, Kgotso Tau, is yet to confirm the exact whereabouts of the animal.

Last week, Destea released a warning about a stray baboon that had been on the run in the northern suburbs of Bloemfontein since November 2020. Tau said at the time that the department was alerted about the situation on 24 February 2021 and believe that it was being kept as an illegal pet.

This is a developing story.