Food-grabbing baboons terrorise expecting mothers

Expectant mothers at Binga District Hospital are now living in fear of baboons, as they say  the primates are terrorising them and grabbing their food.

Binga District Hospital is the biggest in Matabeleland North province in terms of infrastructure, but baboons have wreaked havoc and parts of the institution are now derelict.

In an interview with CITE, Binga District Residents Association (BDRA) chairperson Elias Sibanda said the baboons were tormenting expectant mothers.

“The expecting mothers are tormented daily by these baboons that come and steal their food,” he said.

“The pregnant women are resorting to hiding foodstuffs in blankets because baboons are taking everything. 

“The expecting mothers’ waiting centre has been destroyed completely with baboons destroying the roof.”

Sibanda said, of late, the baboons had started destroying staff houses and wards at the hospital in search of food.

“The hospital roof is [has been destroyed] due by these baboons,” he lamented.   

“Some time ago, a baboon once fell into a room where there was a surgical process underway.”

Sibanda said there had been several cases were baboons had been said to have grabbed pots, satchels and carrier bags they suspect to contain food.

“They have smashed rooftops, vehicle mirrors and wind screens,” he said.

“The baboons are snatching food or anything they suspect to be food, targeting mainly women and school children.”

Sibanda said they contacted Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) but the situation had not yet improved.

“When ZimParks are called, they usually just scare them (baboons) away,” he said. 

“But they always come back. 

“The way forward is to reduce the population of these animals. These baboons are now too many. ZimParks must start culling them.”

On the plus side, Sibanda said no lives had been lost due to the baboon menace, but he urged authorities to do something to stop the marauding primates. 

Efforts to get a comment from ZimParks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo were fruitless as he did not respond to our questions. 

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