Baboon on the loose in Taoyuan City

A baboon first spotted in a southern district of Taoyuan City March 10 is still on the loose 13 days later, despite the efforts of local residents, and employees from a nearby zoo.

Initial reports assumed that the olive baboon had escaped from the nearby Leofoo Village Theme Park Zoo. However, zoo staff conducted a careful headcount of their animals and concluded that none are missing. Hsinchu Zoo also denied the animal was theirs, stating that they had no baboons in the park.

In the last couple of days the baboon has been seen roaming in Pingzhen District, where village chief Huang Zhijie and members of the neighborhood safety team have been attempting to catch the animal. Huang said that they managed to round the baboon up twice, but it twice escaped. Concerned for the safety of residents, Huang contacted Leofoo Zoo and asked them to send staff to help deal with the situation.

map showing baboon sightings March 10 to 22
Map showing baboon sightings and location from March 10 to March 22. Picture: Huang Zhijie.

After the news was reported today, one Facebook user felt vindicated. On March 10, the man had written a post saying that on his way to work he had seen an orangutan or baboon suddenly appear in front him crossing the road. People had responded to his post suggesting that he must have been drunk or had eye problems.

Facebook post and comments

Taoyuan City Agriculture Department has set up traps in an attempt to capture the animal.

Taipei City Zoo has also offered to send assistance if the Taoyuan City Government requires it. Zoo staff said that if the animal is wandering, it is because it hasn’t found a suitable habitat yet, and it is looking for a source of food. The spokesperson urged members of the public not to disturb or frighten the animal if they see it, but to inform the Taoyuan City Government as soon as possible.

baboon crossing the street in Taoyuan City
Baboon seen crossing busy street in Taoyuan City, March 22, 2023.
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