photo by Mark Somerville (Spakman on Flickr CC)

Last month it was reported in the Telegraph how clever baboons in South Africa have learned to recognize the door-locking signal ‘beep’ before deciding whether or not to break into cars parked at a popular tourist spot in Cape Town.

This month the buzz is that baboons are raiding the vineyards of Cape Town’s wine country on a daily basis and entering the city’s exclusive suburbs in search of easy pickings.

Sometimes the baboons even gorge themselves on grapes that have partially fermented in the sun and become intoxicated.

Of course this is a struggle between primates – and the baboons were there first:

Where there’s a mountain, there’s a baboon. As we take up more and more of their land, the conflict increases.

–Justin O’Riain of the Baboon Research Unit at the University of Cape Town

Residents used to be allowed to shoot baboons, but 10 years ago they were awarded protected status and now farmers and other hapless humans are having difficulties staving off the raiding troops.

Read more about the problem of baboons raiders in the following Telegraph article:

Drunk baboons plague Cape Town’s exclusive suburbs