A baboon that fell off construction site scaffolding at a Gaborone office complex Monday morning and left to die under the watch of the wildlife department officials brought a group of angry strangers together in a bid to save its life.
The critically injured primate was discovered barely breathing around the offices of Kgale Mews in Gaborone. It is suspected that the baboon fell from the top of the scaffolding inside the complex.
Kgale Mews workers say they found the baboon fighting for its life when they reported for work Friday morning. Dizzy from the head trauma, the injured baboon stumbled and faltered until it collapsed and remained immobile for hours.
More than eight hours later, the injured primate was still lying motionless in the scotching sun.
One witness said that they did not know who to call for assistance. They then phoned Mmokolodi Nature Reserve officials who allegedly demanded cash up front, arguing that they usually get fined by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks for picking up stray wildlife and they usually have to pay for the veterinary costs.
Another witness said she even volunteered to cover the costs for Mmokolodi to pick up the wounded animal.
However, the Department of Wildlife was the first to arrive at the scene. Mmokolodi officials then decided to leave the department to handle the situation.
Around 6pm, a wildlife officer was still guarding the animal, which he described as possibly dangerous because of the state it was in. He went on to describe that even in its current wounded state the animal was likely to present hostile behavior if it started to feel threatened by the commotion around it.
Information given to The Telegraph seems to point to the fact that the Government only has two Veterinarians overseeing the whole country, one in Mochudi and the other one in Maun. The veterinary doctor from Mochudi was called to the scene by the Department of Wildlife in Gaborone because he was the nearest but had not arrived by close of business.
As people streaked out of their offices to go home at the end of the day, many of them who work in the offices around Kgale Mews expressed anger that the primate was injured but left to die because the Department of Wildlife was slow to react.
They wanted to know why it should take so long for the Department to come to the rescue of an ailing animal in the city. One onlooker said he was shocked to hear that there were only two Government veterinarians in Botswana.