South Africa: Brave teenager saves 6-year-old cousin from baboon attack

Seluleko Xaba, gravely wounded when he was attacked by a baboon at the weekend, obliviously examines a juice bottle as throngs of cameramen and politicians vacillate around him in his hospital bed.

Threadbare pyjamas, a hallmark of home, veil the wounds where his back was cleaved apart by the primate’s teeth.

The attack has widened the chasm between a farmer and the Xaba family, on a perpetual collision course over land.

Farmer David Aadnesgaard's version of events is, however, markedly different. He said that the baboon thought to have attacked the child may have been reared by humans, and did not carry with it the inherent fear of people like that of a normal wild animal.

The boy had spent Friday morning playing with his cousins at the Xaba family homestead, set at the foot of a valley in Richmond, in central KwaZulu-Natal, when he was attacked.

Flanked by waist-high veld, dust had swirled around his feet when he ran along a well-worn path to fetch horses, at the behest of a clan elder.

Moments later, the 6-year-old boy lay in a heap; his bare feet coated in blood.

His cousin Sabelo, who had heard Seluleko’s cries and ran to his aid, is credited with saving his young cousin’s life.

The teen had taken up a whip meant to spur the horses and faced the baboon head on, his charge causing it to scarper into the brush.
South Africa 7549522404627475066

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