Who let the baboons out?
On Tuesday, New South Wales Police Force in Sydney, Australia revealed a troop of determined baboons had escaped a nearby medical facility in the area, prompting mass hysteria.
“This is not a Mandrill!” NSWPF joked on Twitter. “Earlier this afternoon, a troop of baboons escaped from a facility and were going bananas in Camperdown. Police and wildlife handlers now have the situation under control, so please let them do their job and don’t be tempted to pry, mates.”
The hilarious incident unfolded early on Tuesday as a male baboon and two female baboons were being transported from National Health and Medical Research Council Baboon Colony in Wallacia to a hospital in Sydney, The Guardian and 9 News reported.
The male (the leader of the troop) was just about to undergo a vasectomy when he and his loyal troop members — who New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard told The Daily Telegraph are his wives — made the great escape.
The females were brought along for the journey in hopes of providing the male moral support during his surgery, 9 News reported.
Shortly after their getaway, the troop of baboons were spotted around the area of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
This is not a Mandrill! Earlier this afternoon, a troop of baboons escaped from a facility and were going bananas in Camperdown. Police and wildlife handlers now have the situation under control, so please let them do their job and don't be tempted to pry, mates.
— NSW Police Force (@nswpolice) February 25, 2020
Several shocked witnesses called into local radio stations, sharing details on the sighting.
“Mate, I’m dead set serious. I’m at RPA, I’m six floors up and I was just having a gaze out at the carpark … and there were three baboons in the carpark,” the caller said, The Guardian reported. “I’m dead set serious. They even had shiny red bottoms.”
A different caller revealed that her daughter actually helped gather up the animals.
“My daughter is an occupational therapist at RPA and she said ‘Yes mom, I’ve just helped wrangle them,'” the caller said, according to The Guardian.
One witnesses said that he thought it was a dog until he gave the animals a closer look.
“It turned out to be three baboons, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing, it was bizarre. We watched them go around the car park and under the Marie Bashir Building. It was quite funny, we couldn’t hear anything, but we could see the reaction of all these people,” the witness told 9 News.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) February 25, 2020
The search officially came to an end at around 5:30 p.m. when police responded to the scene and contained the animals.
“Just after 5:30 p.m. officers from inner west police area command were called to a car park on Missenden Road and Lucas Street, Camperdown after reports [of] three baboons escaped while being transported,” NSWPF told The Guardian.
“They are currently contained and police are working with experts to safely return them to their facility.”
The male baboon will still go on to have the procedure.
“After the operation him and the two wives will return to the colony where he can stay forever with them, but he will no longer be having babies,” Hazzard told The Daily Telegraph.
Hazzard said the baboons are being used for medical research.
“The research includes reproductive issues, kidney disease, gestational diabetes — a whole range of research areas and with the conclusion of the research they return to the colony in Western Sydney and they usually just live their lives out until old age,” Hazzard said. “I understand they’re extremely well cared for.”
It is not immediately clear if the baboon is having his surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital or a veterinary hospital in the area.