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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Angry baboons block Uganda road
By Abraham Odeke
BBC, Busia, Eastern Uganda

Baboons "protesting" at the killing of one of their group have disrupted traffic on the busy Tororo-Jinja highway in eastern Uganda.

Baboon
Baboons: Unimpressed by Ugandan drivers

This is the second time the animals have behaved in such a manner on the same road.

The trouble began after a speeding lorry ran over a huge female baboon, who died instantly in the Busitema Forest Reserve, 15 kilometres from the Uganda-Kenya border.

According to eyewitnesses, the driver deliberately swerved across the road to hit the female who was eating white ants.

Soon afterwards, an infuriated group of baboons converged at the scene of the killing and surrounded her body.

They sat in the middle on the road for about 30 minutes causing a temporary traffic jam.

'Hunger-strike'

A similar incident happened on this very stretch of the road late last year, when baboons hurled sticks and stones at motorists after a baby baboon was knocked over and killed by a vehicle.

When I arrived at the scene of the incident early on Wednesday afternoon, I met an evidently angry family of young and adult baboons sitting close to the body of the dead female.

Usually, the baboons in this forest area rush to pick up any edible items thrown to them by motorists and other road users.

But this time, the story was quite different.

I threw a piece of sugarcane to the bereaved baboons, but none of them rushed to pick it up.

Later in the afternoon, some unknown person managed to wrap the lower part of the baboon's body with a spotless white cloth of the type used for burying human beings in the region.




SEE ALSO:
Love bug craze hits Uganda
06 Nov 02  |  Africa
Domestic violence rife in Uganda
20 May 02  |  Africa
Uganda's fight for its children
06 Jan 00  |  Africa
Country profile: Uganda
07 Mar 02  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Uganda
12 Jul 02  |  Country profiles


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