March 2021 – “BE-ing” with Baboons and other wild neighbours
by Wynter Worsthorne
My involvement with baboons and their message began about 20 years ago when I first moved to Kommetjie, in the South Peninsula of Cape Town. I had heard terrible stories about the baboons who lived on the mountain surrounding the village: They were dangerous wild animals and would attack children and domestic animals with no provocation.
Being an animal and nature lover, I tried hard not to let my fear of them affect my living space. Then I met Jenni Trethowan and the late Wally Petersen, two incredible conservationists who were fighting for the protection of the troops and educating people about baboons and how to live peacefully with them as our wild neighbours.
I realise that every person who has had an experience with a single baboon, or troops, have a unique perspective of them, a unique relationship. My work with animals and interspecies communication has helped me to override any conditioned, habitual fears I may harbour for a particular species, and replace that with the unconditional love I have for all of Nature. No animal is separate from that, even those that are perceived to be the most deadly.
I now live in an area where I feel completely honoured and blessed to be. In the forest on my doorstep the baboons sleep a few metres away from my house and the monkeys visit regularly to see if there is any easy food lying about.
The baboons occasionally sneak into the kitchen and open the fridge (if I forget to close the door and the way is open for them). When we are away, they occasionally swing on the gutters and attempt to take the beading off of the windows. Why do I not get upset by this?
When I explain my ways to other people who feel like they are being held hostage in their homes and are angry at not being able to sit outside and have a picnics on the grass with their children, I hope that they understand what needs to ‘shift’ in order to live peacefully with this inconvenient aspect of nature.
Inevitably they do not. So now I understand that perhaps each person needs to learn about this at their own pace, and only if they are willing to change their ways of being with Nature.
If each of us takes responsibility for our own home- our own food, our own waste, our own energy that we put out- be it loving, or fearful, perhaps, just perhaps, we can start living peacefully.
As an animal communicator I have explained to people how energy works, and even held some successful workshops on communicating with baboons. Those who were open and took it on board, had amazing results. Those who continued to be skeptical and arrogant about ownership of their land, continued to have problems with the baboons.
Tolerance is the key
Can we teach tolerance? Can we teach respect and understanding?
Can people learn? Yes, I say- but perhaps the best way to learn is to BE with the baboons. Next time you see them- BE still, BE quiet watch and listen- listen with an open heart.
Be sensible with this advice, make sure you don’t have food with you, or are carrying a plastic bag when in their presence. Unfortunately, baboons who are used to getting the easy food from people’s homes seem to be addicted to carbohydrates and sugar- that is what they are after when they try and get into your homes- but more than that perhaps they are after a space of respect.
Here the King of the resident baboon family, who I call Braveheart, has just taken a bag of nachos from the kitchen shelf. He left very quickly when we asked him to get out, but here he comes back for the chips that dropped out of the open bag.
In my experience, the more intolerant and angry people get, it seems the more intolerant and aggressive baboons become. The more peaceful and understanding people get, the more peaceful and understanding the baboons become. They are our mirrors.
I cannot come into your home and communicate with the baboons for you, without your co-operation and buy-in. I can talk to them all I want, but if they are still feeling the anger and hostility from you- it will not be effective. We all need to take responsibility for our own energy and feelings that we put out there. They can be transformed into positive experiences, if you just sit back and BE.
For all of you who are privileged to live in or on the edge of pristine nature, remember why you have chosen to be there in this beautiful part of the world. Know that all you need is Love and Respect to live in peace with your wild neighbours, be they baboons, bears, foxes, raccoons or even wolves.
I encourage you to share this message with anyone who might find it helpful.
With love and blessings to all beings,
For practical tips on living with Baboons
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