A third grader on a school outing to the San Jose Zoo caused an ugly scene. His older brother told him not to throw rocks at the red-ass baboons, because when they throw them back, they don't miss. He wanted to see if it was true. George Simms picked up a rock, and threw it at the biggest baboon he could see. It whizzed past Bobo, dominant male in the zoo's troop of Hamadryas Baboons, and landed just behind him. Bobo noticed who had thrown the rock, and flew into a rage. He picked it up, and threw it back, hitting little George squarely in the forehead, knocking him out cold. The Baboon then proceeded to screech loudly, jumping up and down, showing his teeth.

A little girl, Susan Parker, yelled "You bad monkey!" and threw the rock a third time. This time it fell just short of an infant baboon. The entire troop became agitated, and started to fling rocks, dirt clods, mud, and their feces at the children, their teacher, and all other humans within sight, never once missing a target.

As children began to drop like flies, and adults began to panic, some chimpanzees in the display behind them thought flinging things looked like fun, so they joined in, completely surrounding the bewildered zoo patrons.

By the time the apes had nothing more to fling, Nine children and three adults lay unconscious, and many others were crying and moaning in pain, bleeding, and holding on to wounds. Those only needing first aid were treated at the zoo, and the rest were rushed to nearby hospitals. The young boy who started it all remains hospitalized in serious condition.

As little George Simms and all his classmates learned the hard way, it is not just a myth or an old wives tale. Don't throw rocks at the red-ass baboons. When they throw them back, they don't miss!

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