Walking With Cheetahs 2011 travel blog


Hey Everyone this entry is about Debra's One Night with the Sanctuary's Resident Casanova. LOL

It started like this :

Rudie is cute, adorable, gregarious and very charming, therefore could not refuse to spend a night with him. However, days leading up to the event Debra did have reservations, mixed thoughts about whether she could go through with it. The morning after revelations from the other ladies were beginning to alarm Debra. Some say he is a handful, plays up quite alot but then others say he was quite charming and cuddles you throughout the night. From 7pm to 6am that was the clincher - who could refuse that?

So Saturday roles around and by now Debra is ready and committed for her night with Rudie. Yes it does take alot of preparation and gearing up for this event. You don't want to be the only person at the sanctuary to have a terrible night - pressure was on.

Before heading back to the tent, Rudie is habitual and demands a bath. Head and shoulders shampoo is his fav.

Karen is also involved in the prep work and not too far away - but all fun is to be had with Debra.

Alas, on this occassion the bathing went baaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddd!

................so at this point we should enlighten you as to who or what is Rudie?

Rudie is a baby baboon - 9 months old and wears a nappy to bed. And yes, he does sleep in your bed, under the covers with you. LOL

On this occassion, he was being stubborn, refused a bath and also all offers of temptation such as a warm bottle of milk. At night time he shares a small cage with 4 other baboons.

What happens is, 1 person from the sanctuary is allowed to have Rudie for the night. But this particular night one of the girls wanted to take at least 3 of the baboons so all 5 had to be bathed, fed and housed for the night. We were all ready committed for Rudie. But this volunteer, although she thought she knew how to handle the baboons, lost all control. So imagine 2 drums filled with water for the bathing, 4 baboons running amok after their bottles. Climbing and sliding down walls, jumping in and out of the water so that now water is literally from one end of the room to the other. At this point in time Debra and Karen were both ready to say forget it and walk out. It was absolute mayhem. It didn't help either that one guy who came to assist was just standing there laughing at the kaos. In the end a co-ordinator came to our rescue (we needed rescuing from the cheeky baboons)managed to snare Rudie, put his nappy on and literally shove him under Debra's jumper for us to walk him to our tent. We have our reservations that he got washed - he was damp but not washed with his Head and Shoulders shampoo.

The long trek to our tent was daunting. By now it was pitch black with only our lantern to light the path home. Rudie was squirming - he just wanted to see where he was being taken to. Once inside our tent and all rooms zippered shut we just sat on the bed and let him investigate. Debra had brought up a toilet roll for him to play with just incase. After about 10 - 15 mins he snuggled into Debra and we thought yep time to go to bed.

He stayed with Debra all night. Sometimes walking around her and sitting up on her pillow (sleeps sitting up sometimes)all the while with his nappy on. We did change his nappy midway through the night as a precaution, he slept through the whole event.

Come morning we don't need an alarm - Rudie stirred awake and by 6:30am he wants to go back to his mates. He jumped over to Karen in the morning but immediately went back to Debra and rolled around against her and played under the covers.

Despite other stories from the volunteers, we had a good night with him - no bites, no challenges and no screaming oh and no sleep LOL. It was a great experience - once in a lifetime opportunity. Very happy that we did it :)



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