Meet Ruben Lambrechts and his friend Cindy, a 29-year-old rescue baboon

Ruben Lambrechts is a self-described "farmer, traveler, and safari operator" who runs "I Dream Namibia," a family-operated travel guide service in Namibia. Ruben also runs a farm outside Windhoek, where he takes care of orphaned wild animals including meerkats, mongoose, warthogs, and more.

Ruben features his animal friends on his social media, so we can all get a glimpse into the lives of these fabulous animals. I'm especially enamored with Cindy, a 29-year old baboon who is sweeter and cuter than I ever knew a baboon could be. 

New Era Live recently published a feature article on Lambrechts. In this excerpt, Lambrechts explains his work: 

"I am a part-time cattle farmer and safari operator. The wildlife seen in my videos on social media are orphaned animals. Farmers and people who find them without their mothers give them to us," said the passionate conservationist.

Some different animals that are usually seen in his clips include meerkats, mongooses, warthogs, black wallabies and baboons. 

"We don't keep any of them in cages, so they are free to roam on the farm and come back to our home. Most of them choose to stay with us because they see us as family." 

He shared: "We take care of them since infancy. While some return to the wild, some stay with us. Passion for nature and animals came from childhood because I grew up close to nature on the farm; it's just a part of who I am."

Here's a sweet video of Cindy grooming, which Lambrechts describes:

This "grooming" is a social interaction between baboons in the wild that create stronger bonds and also serves as purpose to remove ticks and other insects from each other. To be groomed has hygienic benefits and is stress relieving for the individual, while grooming another individual can provide access to infants, mating opportunities and high quality food by means of tolerance. Seems like I am a favorite in our baboon troop… 😉

Ruben makes it very clear Cindy is an orphaned/rescued baboon, and folks should not seek out baboons to keep as pets. He explains:

These animals are NOT PETS. They are orphaned animals that we take care of, who live a natural life outside. They belong free in the wild and not kept as pets for human entertainment.

Recently, Ruben has posted that Cindy has been having health issues, struggling with partial blindness and heart problems. He says he is "cherishing every moment with her, cause you never know when will be the last." I sure hope Cindy is doing ok.

To see more of Ruben, Cindy, and the other animals on his farm, check out Lambrechts's TikTok or Instagram