South Africa: Baboons attack climbers with stones

Three seriously injured

Seven climbers descend a cliff – then baboons attack

As a group of seven climbers attempted to climb their “rock face”, baboons attacked the climbers with rocks. Three people from the group had their legs shattered.


The group rested on a rocky plateau …

Search and rescue in the wild

  • In the mountains not far from Cape Town, seven climbers got into a life-threatening situation.

  • As they were about to slide, stones fell upon them, seriously injuring three of them.

  • The rock fall was caused by a horde of baboons, probably defending their territory.

A group of seven climbers set out from the area in the Banhoek Mountains near Stellenbosch near Cape Town, South Africa. On the second day of their expedition, they stopped for refreshment on a plateau on the way back over a steep rock face when they saw A group of baboons spotted watching them. the wild monkeys He made a curious but also enthusiastic impression, climbers later told the South African Mountain Rescue Service.

Baboon raining stones

The climbers paid no more attention to the monkeys and continued their descent. Two of the group members had already descended 55 meters when a huge boulder weighing about 60 kilograms fell on the ledge where the rest of the climbers were still preparing to descend. The stone split upon impact into sharp stones and fragments – with life-threatening consequences: three people’s legs were broken by flying stones, and another climber had an open leg wound. The fifth group was thrown over the edge of the cliff, but caught on the safety rope.

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But that wasn’t the end of it: the monkeys let one stone after another rain down on the group. Climbers huddled close to the surface of the rock to be safe from the deadly rockets, nursing the wounded and keeping them warm in their sleeping bags. Eventually one of the group was able to call 911 despite the poor reception, prompting the Search & Rescue Western Cape team to send a helicopter to the scene.

“I’ve never seen a baboon there before.”

Upon reaching the rock, rescuers lowered themselves onto the platform and rescued the group members. The most seriously injured climber was carried away on a stretcher, and the other two climbers were flown away in climbing harnesses. The three seriously injured were taken to hospital.

“It was the third time we’ve gone this route, but I’ve never seen a baboon there,” says one of the group. He may not think that the monkeys threw the stones on purpose, but he does think that the stones broke away when the monkeys tried to climb up behind the group. But it is possible that the group saw humans as intruders on their mountain and tried to drive them away. Baboons are known to be very aggressive towards predators and have long fangs that can cause severe injuries.

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