Sunday March 3, 2013
Runners see ‘baboons’ being released into Penang park
By WINNIE YEOH
GEORGE TOWN: A veteran hiker has claimed that two baboons were released into the Penang Municipal Park here where a security guard was attacked by a pair of wild macaques in nearby Lengkok Jesselton.
Penang Hash House Harriers member Gurdial Singh said he and several Hashers saw a white van going near the horse stable there at 10.45pm on Thursday.
“We didn't suspect anything until two men came down from the van with a big cage and released the two primates.
“I am sure that they were baboons due to the red posteriors and their sizes, which were bigger than local monkeys,” he said yesterday.
Gurdial then recounted what he saw to the state Wildlife Department the next day.
On Friday, V. Balakrishna, 64, was reading the newspaper inside the guardhouse when he was suddenly attacked by macaques.
He suffered injuries on his arms and was sent to the Penang Hospital for anti-rabies injection and treatment.
The alert man managed to lock the male animal in the room before it could flee while the female macaque escaped. The male was later put to sleep by Penang National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) personnel.
State Perhilitan director Jamalun Nasir Ibrahim said the department had searched the area for the said baboons following the report but nothing was found.
“Baboons are protected animals from Africa so it is almost impossible to find them here except in zoos.”
He added that the department also found the female macaque which attacked Balakrishna near the area and had also put it to sleep.
According to the National Geographic, baboons are omnivores and come from Africa or Arabia.
Baboons are some of the world's largest monkeys with males averaging between 15kg and 37kg in weight.