While hiking at the Gambaga Escarpment near Namaasim, we ran into a hunter I had met about a year ago. Back then he had told me he was hunting baboons. I didn’t think it very likely that he’d find any. On this day, however, he had been quite lucky and stumbled across a pack of wild baboons on the scarp. He managed to shoot one and proudly pulled it out for us to see.
Dr. Vince Waite was with us and the hunter recognized him as the surgeon that had repaired his hernia decades ago. He gave us a leg of the baboon saying that Dr. Waite had changed his life and that was the least he could do.
Right then and there, he and his colleague started a fire, burned off the baboon’s fur, chopped it up and gave us our cut. Dr. Waite asked me to prepare for everyone that night. I fired up the grill, slathered on the barbecue sauce and grilled the meat. The paw was a bit disturbing to look at and no one could get themselves to eat it. The rest of the meat was found to be quite delicious!
Baboons are not considered endangered or even threatened in Ghana and are legal to hunt. They are prized for their meat but are also pests, raiding poor farmers’ corn fields around harvest time. This female baboon was reportedly with a troop of over 20 when it was shot and killed near the villagers’ farms.