This Story is Wild

Our family trip to Africa was amazing, we had some breath-taking moments and got close to the most beautiful animals on earth.

We went on a nine-day safari; watching lions, elephants, leopards, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, and buffalos in an open-sided Land Rover parked just feet away from them.

Seeing these creatures in their natural habitat was incredible – although we felt safe knowing that the car was acting as a barrier between us and them.

On the sixth day we pulled into a park near our lodges for the night.

There are warning signs about, "Be aware of the baboons," if you have food and sh*t. And we were paying for our ticket to go into the park to go up to our lodges when…

Two baboons walked by. The first one went past without incident, but then for some reason the second one veered off its path and jumped up into my daughter Tepper’s window.

It happened so fast I could barely react.

It was terrifying because baboons have huge fangs—they have bigger canines than any other animal in relation to their body size — according to our guide — but also because his screams made me think of that news story years ago about the pet chimpanzee in Connecticut that tore off a woman’s face.

If this thing fully entered the car, I knew it would have nowhere to go and would panic.

Our guide started yelling and thrashing around when he realized what had happened; this scared the baboon enough that it dropped down from its pull-up position on top of Tepper's window ledge back onto ground level outside where it belonged.

But then it did something amazing: It pulled itself up on the glass again.

I have never been so scared in my life. I thought for sure that the baboon was going to come through the window and start attacking us.

My heart was pounding out of my chest and all I could do was sit there frozen, imagining what would happen next if it did.

Thankfully it didn’t though.

After another few seconds of hanging there, the baboon finally dropped down from its perch on top of Tepper’s window ledge back onto ground level – this time for good.

But just like that, everything can change in one second. You hear about wild-animal attacks happening to other people, but you never think it could happen to you — until one does almost happen — and then you realize the whole world is full of possibilities you'd never considered before.

Reading next