On Monday, the late afternoon doldrums got broken up by some good, old-fashioned weirdness: A baboon named Dawkins, en route from Brown University to Born Free USA, a primate sanctuary in Cotulla, escaped his cage at San Antonio International Airport, and was running free in a (non-public) baggage area. Dawkins, who looks to be about the size of a large dog, popped out of the crate around 3 p.m. and led officials on a chase. It was short-lived—within an hour, he was contained in a room, and according to Born Free USA, the situation was quickly brought under control. The brief adventure ended well enough, and brought the sort of workday levity to social media we hadn’t seen since the escaped llama craze of 2015.
— James Keith (@James_Keith) May 21, 2018
Dawkins is safe and set to enjoy the kicked-back life of a sanctuary monkey after this detour—but he’s not the only baboon to find himself out on the streets of San Antone in recent weeks. Just over a month ago, four baboons that had been held at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute teamed up to use a 55-gallon drum to escape the facility, rolling the barrel toward the wall of their open-air enclosure and then climbing to freedom, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Their escape was similarly brief: Three of the baboons took off down the road on the city’s west side near 410 and Military Drive, while a fourth took a look at the outside world, decided it wasn’t for him, and hopped back into the enclosure. The other three were captured and returned to the facility after about thirty minutes.
The fact that two completely unrelated baboon escapes happened in San Antonio in April and May is fairly nuts—baboons aren’t exactly native to the area or common as pets (though monkey pets can be legal in Texas, with a permit)—but it’s probably not indicative of anything. Those seeking an explanation for why this apparently keeps happening in San Antonio are unlikely to receive anything other than “it’s a coincidence.” But to be safe, keep your wits about you and your eyes peeled for baboons. Apparently, they could be anywhere right now.