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Baboon mass hysteria baffles zoo workers

Posted on Saturday, 3 August, 2013 | Comment icon 23 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: Thomas Netsch

 
A group of baboons at a zoo in the Netherlands have been exhibiting some unusual behavior.

Staff were perplexed when the group of 112 baboons at Emmen Zoo started to exhibit signs of hysteria, huddling together in fear and showing little interest in eating. "The first deviation we saw was on Monday evening," said biologist Wijbren Landman. "We were going to bring them to the night enclosure - it normally takes a minute for all 112 to enter, but it took more than an hour to get them all inside. Then the next morning it was a problem to get them out, and then they were immediately sitting in the trees and on the rocks doing nothing at all."

Fortunately the baboons have started to gradually return to their normal behavior however zoo workers have yet to find an explanation for what happened. "What frightened them? We don't know, it's a mystery," said Landman. "There have been many suggestions - an earthquake, escaped snakes, aliens..."

"Staff at a zoo in the Netherlands say they are baffled by their baboons, who have spent days sitting still, huddled together in fear and hardly eating."

  View: Full article

 Source: BBC News


  Discuss: View comments (23)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by DKO on 4 August, 2013, 1:48
Sort of like a prison show. The guards walk into the cells and by the looks on everyone's faces something has happened. But no one will say a word.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Mantis914 on 4 August, 2013, 2:38
Was there a kid named Damian that visited the park on that day?
Comment icon #16 Posted by Lava_Lady on 4 August, 2013, 9:06
Mob mentality, it just takes one little guy, the alpha, to freak and the rest will follow. Confucius say, "Monkey see, monkey do". The alpha probably fell off of his branch, felt embarrassed and covered it up by pretending to have been zapped by hostile ETs, Satan, Bigfoot, Swamp thing, demons, banshees and succubi (aka "The Axis of Evil") all at the same time. If they were human, they'd be in line at the gun shop.
Comment icon #17 Posted by bigjonalien on 4 August, 2013, 23:13
Because they can't tell people that aliens have abducted them too
Comment icon #18 Posted by Garnettil on 5 August, 2013, 12:09
best. comments. ever.
Comment icon #19 Posted by questionmark on 5 August, 2013, 14:50
Monkeys living in a Dutch zoo have been behaving strangely over the last week, sitting listlessly with their backs turned to visitors and even refusing food. Something may have spooked them, with theories including a scary T-shirt, a runaway snake or a UFO. Zookeepers in the Netherlands are scratching their heads at the strange behavior of an entire colony of 112 usually boisterous baboons which have sunken into a collective depression, sitting motionless, not fighting or grooming each other and not even eating apples, their favorite food. Traumatized and apathetic, they've also had their back... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by jbondo on 5 August, 2013, 15:38
What is the first thing animals react to? Scent! Could it be that the zoo brought in a new animal that the Baboons caught wind of? If the zoo brought in a predatory animal, it could definitely send fear thru the clan, especially if the new animal was brought near enough so as to offer a strong scent. Many of them were raised in the zoo, but genetics and instinctual behaviour could play a role here.
Comment icon #21 Posted by rodentraiser on 6 August, 2013, 1:55
Monkey see, monkey do?
Comment icon #22 Posted by deslin on 6 August, 2013, 18:22
They're doing a quiet sitting protest against Futurama being canned again.
Comment icon #23 Posted by LibGeek on 10 August, 2013, 19:22
Animals do have much stronger instincts than humans when a threat is present. They must have sensed something.


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