Three hikers have their legs broken by BABOONS pushing a 130lb rock over a cliff as the group rappels on their territory in South Africa.
- The baboons became agitated when they saw seven men rappelling into their territory.
- Two hikers rappelled down a ledge, but the remaining five were attacked by rocks.
- Three hikers whose legs were brutally broken were rescued by a helicopter
Three hikers broke their legs after being attacked by angry baboons who threw rocks at them off a cliff in South Africa.
The angry primates became agitated when they saw the unusual sight of seven males rappelling down their territory in remote mountains.
The group of seven had reached a narrow ledge at a waterfall in the Banhoek Mountains near Stellenbosch when two of the hikers rappelled down.
However, the remaining five were suddenly attacked by a rock barrage from the baboons above with a 130 lb (60 kg) rock falling between them.
The giant boulder exploded on impact sending razor-sharp rock fragments flying like shrapnel breaking the legs of three hikers who collapsed in agony.
Three hikers broke their legs after being attacked by angry baboons in South Africa. In the photo: a rescuer guides a helicopter towards the mountain range.
The Cape baboons (similar to those above) became agitated when they saw the unusual sight of seven males rappelling down their territory.
One of the hikers was able to issue an SOS call and a rescue helicopter was deployed to recover the three severely injured victims.
The fourth suffered a superficial injury and the fifth was struck by part of the rock and nearly thrown over the edge, but was saved by his safety harness.
But the hikers’ ordeal was far from over, as dozens more rocks rained down on them from the baboons, forcing them to take refuge on the cliff face.
One of the hikers, despite being in such a remote area, managed to make an SOS call for help and the Air Mercy Service helicopter was mobilized.
A Wilderness Search and Rescue team was on board.
The baboons had moved so that WSAR paramedics could come down and put the most seriously injured victim on a stretcher and carry him to the helicopter.
The other two men with broken legs were then loaded into the helicopter and the three were dropped off at a meeting point where ambulances were waiting.
The other four made their way down the cliffs under their own power.
WSAR spokesman Johann Marais said: “We congratulate the two uninjured hikers for keeping their cool and doing a fantastic job caring for the injured and we wish them a speedy recovery.”
Pictured: The narrow ledge in the Banhoek Mountains in Stellenbosch, where hikers were forced to take cover to avoid falling rocks.
The moment the rescue helicopter brought down the three badly injured climbers to a safe landing zone before being taken to hospital.
The Cape baboon (pictured above) is one of the largest monkeys in the world and can weigh up to 80 pounds and grow up to 4 feet long.
A baboon expert who specializes in rescuing the primates from urban areas said: ‘Baboons are capable of throwing stones, but they can only throw them under the arm.
‘Their shoulder blades are at a different angle to the ribs than in humans and are flat to the side, they have to throw underhand but they can throw with a lot of power.
‘I guess it will never be known if they were deliberately throwing the rocks at hikers or just dislodging them, but it was a lot of rocks to accidentally dislodge.
“Baboons are curious and can be easily annoyed by things they are not used to and would be used to humans walking the cliff paths but not rappelling them down.”
“It takes a lot to accidentally dislodge a 60kg rock,” he said.
All three patients are recovering after being taken to the hospital.
The Cape Baboon is one of the largest monkeys in the world and can weigh up to 80 pounds and grow up to 4 feet long excluding the tail and has 5-inch teeth.
Omnivores can run at 30mph and have up to 50 in a troop and their biggest predator in the wild is leopards but they only attack if they feel threatened.