Baby snatched by baboon survives after brave mum chases after animal

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A mother has told how she chased after a baboon and forced it to give up its unusual prey – her 18-month-old son.

Petronella Moyo was doing cleaning her house in West Nicholson on November 16 when the baboon sneaked in and snatched her son after sinking its teeth in his buttocks.

“I was scrubbing the floor in the bedroom and the child was playing near the door. Suddenly I heard the baby screaming and when I turned to check what was happening I saw the baboon already dragging him,” Moyo told the Voice of America’s Studio 7.

“I started chasing after it until it let go of him. The wound is very deep.”

Moyo said she had almost given up hope of getting her son alive.

“The verandah for my house is quite high and when I saw the baboon jump over with him, I feared the worst. I thought he was dead,” she said.

The baby is expected to make a full recovery at Gwanda Provincial Hospital.

Attacks on humans by baboons are extremely rare, and victims are usually hunters who would have cornered the animal.

Baboons have very sharp canine teeth and claws which can injure and even kill their victims.

A well reported death in a baboon attack occurred in June 2003 in the remote North West village of Madipelesa outside Pampierstad in South Africa.

A young mother watched helplessly as a baboon snatched and ripped open the skull of her three-month-old tot and ate his brain.

Lettie Goitsimang Tukane, 34, said the baboon climbed up a telephone pole and ate the brain before disappearing into nearby bushes.

Tukane said her son Neo was sleeping in a bed in one of the rooms while she was busy washing dishes in another room when she heard his screams.

She said when she rushed outside, she saw a big baboon carrying Neo under one of its arms. She tried to scare it off but the baboon was aggressive and it wanted to attack her too.

She blamed witchcraft.

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