Culture

The Funniest Reactions To The Three Heroic Baboons Who Escaped A Sydney Hospital

"Take away Bettina Arndt’s medal and give it to the baboons"

escaped baboons baboon

Around 5.30pm Tuesday, three baboons escaped a vehicle as they were being transported around Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital — for an hour, they paraded through the hospital’s streets before being contained.

The news first broke via 2GB, with several callers mentioning they just saw loose baboons. One said  there were ‘three’ baboons in the RPA car-park — “even with red bottoms” — which was soon confirmed by NSW Police.

By 6.30pm, the three baboons had been contained — aka they were surrounded in a carpark, with Taronga Zoo specialists there to sedate and calm them.

The baboons in question were a 15-year-old male and two younger females: Sydney Morning Herald reports the male was on way to a vasectomy procedure, with the two females accompanying to keep him calm.

While there are baboons housed at a research facility at the RPA, where they are used for studies and experiments, a controversial practice which has been criticised by Humane Research Australia and other animal rights groups, these three baboons are from a research colony in Wallacia.

There, they breed for research programs — the vasectomy was ordered so the male could retire from breeding, and live in the colony.

The reaction online was immediate, and very, very funny. At first, there was general confusion, with pretty much no context given for how the baboons were at the RPA.

In time, the baboons were venerated as anti-cop heroes, freedom fighters and queer icons just wanting to get a good spot at the Mardi Gras parade.

Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi offered a short, concise official statement: “Greens Spokesperson for Animal Welfare has welcomed the Sydney Baboon’s bid for freedom. ‘I wish them well,’ she said.”

Given the whole saga was reminiscent of when two water buffalo got loose from a film set in Newtown back in 2014, many noted there’s a certain Sydney-quality to this mad-libs story. It’s not necessarily a good thing.

There were also a thousand jokes about the escaped baboons being from Parliament House or whatever.

Overall, we can all agree that Bettina Arndt’s OA must be given to the baboons, and animal testing is almost definitely fucked. It’s possible someone on the scene agrees — while it’s now removed from their story, SMH previously quoted a source at the hospital who said “the baboons could not have escaped unaided.” Workers of the world unite!

Find more reactions below.

Feature image by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, via WikiMedia. Used under CC BY-SA 3.0.