A 15-year-old male baboon scheduled to undergo a vasectomy in Sydney, Australia made a dash for freedom Tuesday along with his “two wives.”
Police and animal wranglers were called to a car park near Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown around 5.30pm after the baboons escaped while being transported, an NSW Police spokeswoman said.
Videos on social media showed the three wandering past parked cars as passers-by watched in disbelief.
“I’m six floors up and I was just having a gaze out at the car park… and there were three baboons,” one caller to local radio station 2GB said.
“I’m dead set serious. They even had shiny red bottoms.”
Another caller said her daughter and her daughter’s colleagues had been chasing the animals.
“My daughter is an occupational therapist at RPA and she said ‘yes mum, I’ve just helped wrangle them’,” the caller said.
It is gathered that the three animals were later contained by police and medical experts before handlers from Taronga Zoo tranquillised them.
New South Wales police confirmed on Tuesday evening that they had recaptured three animals just over an hour after reports first emerged.
“Just after 5.30pm officers from inner west police area command were called to a car park on Missenden Road and Lucas Street, Camperdown, after reports three baboons escaped while being transported,” a NSW police spokesperson said.
“They are currently contained and police are working with experts to safely return them to their facility.
“There is no immediate danger to the public but people are advised to avoid the area,” she said.
The state’s health minister Brad Hazzard told AAP there was a lock failure either on the truck or crate that was transporting a 15-year-old male and two females.
“The three baboons decided to take a bit of a look around RPA grounds,” he said.
“They didn’t know what to do nor did the people around them.”
Hazzard also insisted to local media that the baboons were not being transported for research purposes and the male was at the facility for a vasectomy and the other two were there to “keep him calm”.
“The two girls came as, effectively, his wives to keep him company while he had his vasectomy,” Hazzard told The Daily Telegraph.
“If he had been kept fertile he would have had to (have) moved from the family he knows”
“He was having a vasectomy because there’s no desire for him to continue to breed for the troop, and the other option was to move him from the troop.
“This way, he can stay with his family through until old age.” Hazzard said.