NORTHERN RHODESIA: Baboons & Rainbirds

Not far from the towering cataracts of Victoria Falls, in darkest Africa, 20th Century civilization was fighting a hapless battle with the denizens of the jungle. It wasn't lions, leopards, elephants or crocodiles; they had capitulated without a struggle. It was baboons.

The baboons have been thwarting progress ever since the government cleared away 430 acres of savanna last year and laid out Livingstone Airport, designed for jet transports. To begin with, the big grey baboons streamed out of the forests on to the runway, swinging big sticks to squash up a midday lunch of scorpions. "They got...

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