Life Video

By Kristiana Hall


A young conservationist has become a stand-in mum for dozens of orphaned baboons, monkeys and primates.

Baye Pigors, 27, set up the Free to be Wild sanctuary in Zimbabwe in 2014 after caring for an orphaned baboon infant and falling in love with the species.

PIC FROM Free To Be Wild / Marlina Moreno/Caters

Her adorable images and video shows a group of orphaned baboons living with her at her sanctuary, the only one of its kind in the country.

Blonde stunner Baye said: “Each rescue has its own unique story and the whole place just feels like one big, diverse, funny farm of a family.

“I started the sanctuary after finding a baboon whose mum had been killed on a farm and raising her.

PIC FROM Free To Be Wild / Marlina Moreno/Caters

“When there would have come a time to find a facility for her to go to, I realised there wasn’t anywhere in Zimbabwe that practised primate rehabilitation and release.

“Unfortunately primates tend to stay in captivity for the rest of their lives so I made a promise that I would be able to release the baboon I rescued one day, but this wasn’t going to happen unless I provided a safe environment for her.

“That’s why I started the charity.”

The footage and images show the cute baboons playing with with Baye but also fooling around with one another.

PIC FROM Free To Be Wild / Marlina Moreno/Caters

They were captured by conservationists Marlina Moreno, 33, and Zander Beetge, 34, while they visited the sanctuary.

The sequence shows Baye fondly holding some of the cute baboons, monkeys and primates while some of the more candid shots show the younger animals snoozing.

She said the animals go through a rigorous routine which is designed give them as many formative experiences as possible following the trauma of being orphaned.

PIC FROM Free To Be Wild / Marlina Moreno/Caters

Baye added: “I was taking a swim with six of our chacma baboon orphans, we take these orphans out for a bush walk everyday this is part of their enrichment.

“I love swimming with the orphans the best thing I can give them is my time, being in the present moment and realising just how privileged I am to be able to have these experiences.”