Baboons on the loose

This Reuters report certainly has a sinister undercurrent:

"If you think how easily a baboon could rip a person apart, the fact that they don't is quite remarkable," [Jenni] Trethowan said.

It's a long article that covers the problems with baboons invading residential neighborhoods around Cape Town. They're sort of like mega-intelligent pack raccoons:

"I was sitting outside one day, the kids were swimming in the pool, when Eric just flew through the burglar bars and into the house," said Debbie Ellis, who lives in the Imhoff's Gift district. Eric is the alpha male of the local troop.
"It was a bit frightening to see a five-foot-four male baboon standing behind my three-year-old goddaughter."

This, on the other hand, must mean something different in South Africa:

One resident who did not want to be named said he had tried in vain to drive off a big male baboon with a powerful catapult -- against the law because the animals are protected.

I'm envisioning a Roman siege engine, but dictionary.com is kind enough to tell me it can also be a slingshot. Whew!