As we come round the bend we hear the screaming. A baboon troop is in chaos. Two jackal seemingly in the middle of it all. Then we see the baby impala. A limp form drug along by a huge male baboon.
Then he drops it and goes chasing off. More screaming from the trees. Where did the jackal go? Finally the chaos subsides. The huge male returns, grabs the limp dead baby impala and begins eating. What?
Baboon are omnivores? The jackals appear again. They edge closer, but soon give up as other baboons challenge the big one.
Was it the jackal or the baboons that killed the baby impala?
I reach out to some of our wildlife experts. Here’s what we learned…
Sam with C.A.R.E. offers these insights: “It’s difficult to say whether it was the jackal or the baboon as the jackal does hunt small antelope, and whilst the largest proportion of the Baboons diet is predominantly herbivorous, Baboons are omnivores and whilst rarely known to hunt, they are extremely opportunistic and a baby impala would provide a great opportunity ! Particularly when food is scarce as it has been in recent months with drought in the area, it can be expected that Baboons will turn towards what food they can get whether it’s small or injured mammals.
The commotion from the Baboons we can hear certainly appears to be over “food” between themselves as our intelligent baboon relatives are not necessarily known for sharing, the higher ranked Baboons can clearly be seen demonstrating their dominance and in turn ownership of the impala carcass !
It’s definitely an incredible sighting Margrit, particularly observing the jackal demonstrating inferiority with the Baboons, onlooking – the jackals being there so close to the Baboons suggests to me that the Baboons possibly saw an opportunity to steal the kill from the jackal, hence almost onlooking in disbelief but not able to compete with the size and number of the Baboons and waiting for an opportunity themselves to steal back!! Wow!”
Brooke a recent volunteer at C.A.R.E. has this to say, “I saw a boony (baboon) eating a young impala’s leg just before i left the center.”
Silke with Bambelela was more reserved with her feedback. She thought “who did what” was inconclusive from the video.
Lynette who has been involved with primate welfare for a long time has this insight, “It’s difficult to say who killed the impala, it could have been either, but my guess is the jackals killed the impala and judging from the behaviour of the baboons, they took the prize from them.”
Michelle a bush guide said, “Probably the baboon. Recently I saw a newborn Bushbuck every morning. Then she was gone. A colleague told me the baboons had gotten it.”
Baye with Free to be Wild is also somewhat skeptical, but definitely believes the huge baboon is highly suspect as being the hunter that took down the baby impala.
So, without actual eyes on the event the verdict remains uncertain.
After watching the video what do you think? Was it the jackal or the baboon who killed the baby impala?