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It’s not uncommon for baboons in South Africa to come close to people, but it is uncommon for them to start gangs and steal from tourists. But that’s exactly what Fred the baboon is famous for. Fred learned how to open car doors, and would wait until he saw cars with visible food before sneaking in and having a bite.
Not only did Fred learn how to steal himself, he also taught other baboons the same trick, leading them to attack multiple cars, and even cause injury to people who got in their way. Most likely someone gave Fred food, which led to his taste for human treats and helped him learn how to open the doors.
Unfortunately, Fred wasn’t always careful when he took food. There were a number of incidents in which children were injured while stuck in the car with the baboon, and parents got extremely angry.
It took a full three years before he was caught by authorities, who decided that he was too aggressive. One photographer spent the whole time following Fred and documenting his troop of baboons, trying to show that it wasn’t Fred’s fault, but rather the fault of those who gave him food in the first place.
Unfortunately, after Fred was taken into custody, his gang-like behaviors led the police to decide he needed to be put down. Many people protested, but the reign of terror was over, and Fred was put down in 2011.