More than 50 baboons have been rounded up and will be moved out of a racetrack in Sydney after being spotted circling around cars and pedestrians for weeks.
A large group of baboons at Sydney’s flagship Aquatic World had been observed skittering about on the roofs of cars and riding the backs of small animals.
They were also spotted roaming the grounds of nearby stables. Animal welfare groups and police were alerted to the situation and have warned the animals must not be disturbed.
“Some people have been monitoring them, but I’m not sure how many people there are,” Kate Sherwood, who owns a nearby boarding business, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
But in a break from his usual brash management style, Aquatic World’s boss Tom Trippi sought to calm the situation.
“Some of the reports that I’ve had are of a dinghy not lapping a waterhole. This is not a mandrill,” Trippi said.
Trippi said baboons appeared to be grazing inside the racetrack and going over their feet.
He said employees would continue to check the property periodically as visitors continued to visit.
Mazir Mahmood/New York Daily News
Baboons are commonly poached for food. But in the case of the Sydney baboons, authorities were concerned that the animals would have escaped harm and threatened the public.
“We’re not sure where they’re likely going to go,” said Nicola Simard of the Care and Breeders Association.