Ms. Kluender let out another gasp as she pulled the folded newspaper closer.
“You have to read this next.”
After she passed me the paper I quickly understood her look of concern. The obituary headline read Rita Mijo, 81, ‘the Mother Teresa of Baboons’ above a photo of Miljo sitting in a rocking chair holding a baby baboon close to her stomach.
The obituary detailed Miljo’s death, the result of a fire in her South African home. Also caught in the blaze were Bobby, the first baboon she rescued in 1980, as well as two additional baboons staying at her organization, the Center for Animal Rehabilitation and Education (CARE).
Miljo, a former German national, created CARE around the needs of orphaned and injured baboons. The young animals possess near human characteristics and are frequently treated like vermin in South Africa, long shot and killed on site.
Learn more about Miljo and her work through this series of videos, “Growing Up Baboon“.