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My Friends the Baboons is that rare piece of writing; a paper of scientific observation which could reduce anyone of compassion to tears – for who cannot be moved by the final chapter when a tribe of baboons appeals to Marais and his companion to save their young?
Marais, journalist, poet, scholar and scientist, spent more than three years studying the chacma baboons in the wild, and his notes, comments and conclusions in this pioneering work have been a source of inspiration since they were written. At the time he began his work, he was able to study a troop of baboons who had never known man. The four-year Boer War removed the settlers, and the baboon troop led an undisturbed life, with no fear of their modern and most devastating foe: human farmers.