egypt-museum: Baboons Were Trained in Ancie…


Baboons Were Trained in Ancient Egypt to Catch Criminals

The most surprising use for trained baboons was as police animals. Hieroglyphs and artwork has survived the ages depicting Egyptian authorities using baboons on leashes to apprehend criminals, in much the way modern police would use a dog. One shocking bit of classical Egyptian artwork depicts authorities unleashing a baboon on a thief in a marketplace, and the criminal begging them to call the animal off as it bites his leg.

Detail of a relief from the tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum. Old Kingdom, 5th Dynasty, ca. 2498-2345 BC. Saqqara Necropolis.