From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2006:
Baboons: Tales, Traits & Troubles
by Attie Gerber
Lapa Publishers (380 Bosma St., Pretoria, South Africa), 2004.
360 pages, hard cover. 180.95 rand.
Attie Gerber, now a university instructor of video
production and digital photography, cofounded the popular South
African television program 50/50, which has covered ecological
matters for more than 20 years. Baboons: Tales, Traits & Troubles
combines superb photographs with commentary mixing information about
baboons with advice about wildlife photography.
Gerber explores the interaction of Afrikaans and British
settlers with baboons through mentions of baboons in early South
African literature. Hated by farmers for crop-raiding, but
respected for their intelligence, baboons were at times even put to
work. For example, the Cape Argus reported in 1884, a railway
signalman named Jumper lost both legs in an accident, and procured a
baboon he called Jack to assist him. Photographs show Jack operating
the signal levers at Jumper’s instruction.