Jack- The Monkey

Jack- The Monkey

Let me share with you the story of most successful monkey in my knowledge. We’ve heard stories of monkeys who could walk on a rope or climb a pole in fraction of seconds but today I’ll tell you about a monkey that became a part of the human race through sheer intellect, friendship & loyalty for his human.

A monkey (baboon) named Jack, of breed Chacma baboon, attained some fame for acting as an assistant to a disabled railway employee (signalman) in South Africa, later railway decided to officially employ Jack.

Jack (baboon) was purchased by a railway employee James Wide in 1881 after the loss of both of his legs in a train accident. James was a signalman who worked for Capetown – Port Elizabeth Railway service. James Wide had been known for jumping between rail cars and thus he was called JUMPER.

James trained Jack to push his wheelchair and to operate the railway signals under the supervision. After the complaint of the concerned members of public, an official investigation was initiated. They complained that a baboon was observed changing the railway signals at Uitenhage near Port Elizabeth.

After the investigation the railway decided to officially employ Jack after his competency was verified. Jack (baboon) was paid twenty cents a day, and half a bottle of beer each week.

He did his job for nine years and in his nine years of service he never made a single mistake.

After nine years of duty in 1890 Jack (baboon) died of tuberculosis. Jack’s skull is in the collection of Albany Museum in Grahamstowm.

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