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Aug 6 13 9:05 PM

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Dutch zoo baffled by spooked baboons that are sitting still, hardly eating

Updated Sat Aug 3, 2013 9:20am AEST

A zoo in the Netherlands is trying to understand what has spooked a group of baboons, with the monkeys huddled together and hardly eating.
The troop of baboons has become inexplicably withdrawn, apparently fearful of an unseen threat.
The 112 east African monkeys started behaving strangely on Monday and even turned their backs on visitors at Emmen Zoo in the northern Netherlands.
Zoologist Wijbren Landman said he has no idea what is traumatising the monkeys, who were all born in captivity.
"They were hysterical, not jumping around, but behaving strangely," he said.
"On Tuesday and Wednesday they just sat in the trees or on the ground, hardly moving or eating."
No other animals at the zoo have shown similar signs of hysteria.
Staff said it was the fourth time in 20 years that the baboons have behaved this way, but such behaviour has not been seen elsewhere.
"I've heard lots of theories but nothing that holds water," Mr Landman said.
These include that the baboons saw a predator, either a real one or an image of one on a visitor's T-shirt.
There are also suggestions they felt an earthquake or other natural disaster.
"The craziest suggestion was that it was caused by a UFO," Mr Landman said.
"They've been observed to be disconcerted in the wild if they've had a run-in with a predator, but not this type of behaviour."
Despite the lack of an explanation for the behaviour, the baboons have at least started to eat a little.
"Some of them started eating little bits of apple and we gave them pellets with vitamins and minerals," Mr Landman added.
"They're not yet 100 per cent but they're improving.
"We've asked experts for their opinions, if they've ever seen anything like it or have an explanation, but that hasn't turned anything up yet."
ABC/AFP


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-03/traumatised-baboon-mystery-at-dutch-zoo/4862984

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Aug 7 13 7:52 PM

DARPA

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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
DARPA Logo.jpg
Agency overview
Formed 1958
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia
Employees 240
Annual budget $2.8 billion[1]
Agency executive Arati Prabhakar, Director[2]
Parent Agency Department of Defense
Website
www.darpa.mil
DARPA's former headquarters in the Virginia Square neighborhood of Arlington. This agency recently moved to 675 North Randolph Street, near the Ballston Common Mall.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technologies for use by the military. DARPA has been responsible for funding the development of many technologies which have had a major effect on the world, including computer networking, as well as NLS, which was both the first hypertext system, and an important precursor to the contemporary ubiquitous graphical user interface.
DARPA began as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) created in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for the purpose of forming and executing research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science and able to reach far beyond immediate military requirements.[3] The administration was responding to the Soviet launching of Sputnik 1 in 1957, and ARPA's mission was to ensure U.S. military technology be more sophisticated than that of the nation's potential enemies. From DARPA's own introduction,[4]
DARPA’s original mission, established in 1958, was to prevent technological surprise like the launch of Sputnik, which signaled that the Soviets had beaten the U.S. into space. The mission statement has evolved over time. Today, DARPA’s mission is still to prevent technological surprise to the US, but also to create technological surprise for our enemies.
ARPA, was renamed to "DARPA" (for Defense) in March 1972, then renamed "ARPA" again in February 1993, and then renamed "DARPA" again in March 1996.
DARPA is independent from other more conventional military research and development and reports directly to senior Department of Defense management. DARPA has around 240 personnel (about 140 technical) directly managing a $2.8 billion budget. These figures are "on average" since DARPA focuses on short-term (two to four year) projects run by small, purpose-built teams.

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