South Africa 2016: Gangsta Game (And Other Unbothered Animals Who Just Don’t Give A…)

When it comes to wildlife, South Africa deserves a round of applause. In fact, give it up for the entire African continent because it seems that in every nook and cranny, you’ll find unique, colorful creatures, big and small, freely living life like its golden.

However, for some of them, “golden” means “gangsta.”


Trill, if you will. 

During a recent trip to parts of Cape Town and the Limpopo province, I observed some seemingly cool characters, who in reality, are proudly living out their days on Earth as straight thugs. Their goal is to make it as easy for themselves as possible in this struggle we all call “life.” And if that includes stealing, keeping up unnecessary noise, begging, and other forms of  disrespect for their fellow kingdom cronies, or better yet, humans, then so be it.

Here are the top five who, for me, put the “wild” in wildlife.

#5- Hartlaub’s gull (seagull)

They look so cute and harmless, don’t they? Well, let not their little fluffy feathers fool you. Cute?Yes. Harmless? Yes. Quiet? Absolutely not. And here lies the problem, especially when you are sleeping peacefully in your hotel room, only to be awaken at 3 in the morning (then 4, and yes, at 6) by the shrill cries of these little, white, web-footed demons. It was a sound so loud that I thought they had somehow flown into my room in a plot to snuff me out. 

Call me crazy, but I always assumed that birds slept at night. With the exception of owls, I figured they all liked to get some shut eye after a day of flying, digging for worms, building nests, and crappin’ on cars. However, not these gully goons. They screeched and partied like it was 1999 well into the overnight hours, and absolutely no one and nothing could stop them. Not even a stern “Hush,” which I yelled from the balcony, and was blatantly ignored.

So nasty. So rude. ***In my Nene Leakes voice*** 

#4 - African fur seals

These brown, blubberlicious beauties are one of the main attractions at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town. Millions of people visit the site every year, and of course, no visit is complete without a snapshot of the African fur seals. Now, I’m almost certain they are well aware of their importance. They know that people come to see them to take in all of their flabby fabulousness. However, why please people by barking and scooting across the pavement with vigor, when you can please yourself by sleeping in the sun all day? 

I went to see them twice, and on both days (at different times of the day), I found all of them deep in the throes of not giving a single f***.

Here they are on day one:

And here's a closer look on day two:

Basically, this is their way of saying, “Picture this, beyotches.”

#3- Red winged starling

When someone has something you want, stare deeply into his/her soul until you get it.

At least, that was the bullying technique this little shiny beggar used with one visitor on top of the famed Table Mountain. As this lady savored every morsel of her sweet treat, the wannabe smooth criminal tried to use his piercing dark eyes to seduce her into giving him just a little bit of the good stuff.

It didn't work.

She didn’t drop one crumb, or offer any leftovers. As she stood up to leave, the bird stood its ground, staring at her in pure disgust. Its intimidation didn’t work. 

Bullies never win. At least this one didn’t.

#2- Baboons

“Hide yo kids, Hide yo wife…” Better yet, lock your windows and your doors when these furry terrorists are in the neighborhood.

Baboons are quite a problem in South Africa. The hairy hoodlums, with their long, lion-like teeth and red butts, will stop at nothing to get to food. They will kill, steal, and destroy to get a taste of whatever you have. Seriously.  In fact, take a look at this sign.

It is one of many posted in various areas in and around Cape Town.

Baboons do not play. And they do not care. I witnessed their lack of giveadamnability while on a trip just outside of the town of Scarborough. This crew had found (or perhaps stolen) fruit, and decided to sit in the middle of the street to enjoy it, forcing drivers to weave their way around them and curse their existence.

"Who gon check me, boo?"

#1 - Ostrich

Ever meet someone who HAD to be the center of attention, no matter the occasion? And if the person didn’t get the required amount of attention, he/she turned real petty, real quick? Well, I came across the animal equivalent of that person - this wild ostrich.

This long-necked lady hangs out at the Adventures with Elephants Reserve, which is about two hours outside of Johannesburg. Now, the keyword here is “elephants,” meaning the elephants are the stars of this show. However, this ostrich refuses to accept that fact, and she hasn’t accepted it for several years.

Everyday, she struts on to the reserve to steal food from the elephants. And while she is doing that, she tries to steal the attention from them as well. 

During my visit, I noticed that while visitors fawned all over the prodigious pachyderms while touching and playing games with them, “Petty LaBelle” moved along the sidelines, close enough to remind visitors of her presence. She didn’t allow anyone to touch her, but she did make her way into almost every picture snapped. Including mine.

Don't see her in this last picture?

Let me zoom in for you.

A mess.

So, there you have it. Five of nature's rowdiest roughnecks bogarting the roads and reserves of South Africa.

Without a trace of shame in sight.

But at least they are cute while doing it.


Popular posts from this blog

Changing Lives Abroad: 9 Questions for a South Alabama Educator in Saudi Arabia

Journey Back in Time : The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore, MD

From Tennessee to Kuwait : Journey of an American Expat Educator