Abu Dhabi: A Saudi farmer has come up with a smart solution to keep baboons away from his farm in the Fayfa Governorate, Southern Saudi Arabia – a giant stuffed toy tiger.
Naji Al Abdali placed the tiger toy on a visible rock inside his farm. The trick has kept the monkeys away from his farm for more than four years now.
Al Abdali said he was inspired by a senior citizen, who told him, “Tigers and hyenas are the archenemy of monkeys.”
Al Abdali added as the monkeys are smart, he changes the position and location of the tiger toy, creating tiger roar from time to time, so that the monkeys get scared, and do not come close, thinking that it is a real tiger.
Saudi authorities have moved to tackle a baboon invasion of Mecca, Taif and Asir.
Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Abdul Rahman Al Fadhli, has instructed allocating funds to a project aimed at solving the problems caused by baboons in Mecca and the holy sites, and another country-wide project.
The move came in response to complaints from Saudis over monkey attacks, which damaged their crops.
Only around 65 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s baboon population is wild; the rest live in and around towns and cities, particularly Taif, which happens also to be the kingdom’s top leisure-tourism destination.
These baboons, to varying degrees, rely on human food, people say.
In search of food, hungry baboons attack villages and damage farms, especially those of roses, pomegranate and other fruits.
Baboons, known as Al Saadan in Saudi Arabia, are attacking most of the cities and villages in Taif region frequently. They gather in large numbers in inhabited regions and run amok.
The baboons swoop down in large numbers from their hilltop dwellings on villages and residential districts in search of food and water, a farmer said in his complaint to the authorities.
“Running amok, they attack children, ransack houses and damage cars,” he said.
Farmers are facing difficulties in tackling this problem as most of them do not even have an air gun due to difficulties in obtaining a licence.