His body, his choice. On Tuesday, a frisky, 15-year-old male baboon escaped the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) in Sydney, Australia just moments before he was scheduled to have a vasectomy. In a widely circulated viral video, the baboon is seen making his great escape with two female baboons. As the BBC reports, all three were captured in a nearby building a few hours later, but I can’t help but admire his and his lady companions’ chutzpah. To decide to run wild hours before a procedure that would prevent pregnancy—it was if he was saying to the world in an Aussie accent, “No, mate! I am not done growing the baboon population a bit, and you mustn’t stop me!”
In the clip, the baboons are seen escaping from an unlocked gate near the parking lot of the hospital. Pedestrians are in shock, but also full of wonder. “Be free,” I said to myself while watching the video on repeat, tears staining my eyes. “Be free in a way I could only hope to be.”
“The three baboons decided to take a bit of a look around RPA grounds. They didn’t know what to do nor did the people around them,” New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard told the Australian Associated Press. “Last I heard they’d had a good look around the precinct and ended up in the carpark where they were behaving far better than what we’d expect of baboons. They obviously decided that inspecting the premises was an appropriate way to spend a couple of hours at the hospital.” I don’t blame them.
But nothing beats this observation from a witness, who called into Sydney radio station 2GB to share his story (via The New York Post): “Mate, I’m deadset serious. I’m at RPA, I’m six floors up and I was just having a gaze out at the carpark… and there were three baboons in the carpark. I’m deadset serious. They even had shiny red bottoms.”
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They sure did. The shiny red bottoms of freedom.
How many hours until a ska band in suburban Ohio names itself “Baboon Vasectomy”? Watch the escape, imagine being so lucky: