Field Note: Baboon, "The Observer"
Published: March 22, 2019
By Mark Seth Lender
The Olive Baboon lounging in his favorite chair. (Photo: Mark Seth Lender)
Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender reflects on the exercise of trying to see the world through the watchful eyes of a species not unlike our own: the baboon.
Located in the midst of the Maasai Mara, the Musiara Marsh and the riverine forests and planes that surround it are as rich in wildlife as anyplace on earth. With the exception of the great apes, nearly every species you might expect to find in Africa can be found here, one close upon the other. Rather than familiarity breeding contempt, here it breeds awareness. A community of eyes that is always watching. In that sense, every creature is looking out for every other.
A camaraderie forced by the hierarchical connection of predator and prey, upon the prey.
The baboon watches. Watching him we see through his eyes. But the story here is not what the baboon sees but rather it is about watching the watcher. It is not the way the baboon looks, his aspect so similar to us in form, but the manner of his looking about that is our deep connection. It is his bright-eyed alertness with which we identify. And we do that because, following his gaze (if we do so with patience) we develop a very good idea of what he is thinking. Not least because our thoughts if one of us was alone and unprotected in the baboon’s vulnerable space, would be much the same as his.
Back to Mark Seth Lender Field Notes
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth