Was the baboon in the backyard a hoax?

"She saw what she saw," her mother said.
(This is not a picture of what she saw, however.)
In Florissant, Missouri, a 14-year-old girl said she saw a baboon in her yard. Later, she showed a photo of the animal she said she'd snapped with her cell phone. Elementary schools were locked down, and experts from the zoo were called to closely examined foreign feces on her family's lawn.

But the photo looked suspiciously like (okay, exactly like) a baboon photo from an animal conservation website.

"Wow, baboons sure look the same all over the world."
During a police interview, the girl broke down and said she made it all up.

Why did she do it?

The police chief said: "She didn't really say why. I think there are a lot of emotions involved with this young lady. I don't know. At this point we don't really know."

But - and here's where it gets interesting - the mother does admit the photo was fake, but she also says that her daughter did see some sort of animal, because other people in the neighborhood have seen it, too.

And what about those feces, proven to be foreign? (They were said not to be from the family dog.)

Is this merely a case of a mother protecting her daughter who made something up, or is there more to the story?

Could it be that the girl actually did see some kind of animal, and people didn't believe her?

So the girl said to herself, "Hmm, I'll convince them!" and she showed them "a photo she'd taken" of a baboon.

And when the baboon photo was found to be fraudulent, her original story was deemed fraudulent, too.

Is this a case of the Girl Who Cried Baboon?

Paraphrasing the cop in a Bugs Bunny cartoon: "Could be, rabbit, could be."

He actually said: "You might, rabbit, you might."

My favorite quote, from a school spokesperson:

"I don't know about the cost but there were definitely other things that many of us could have been doing today during business hours other than making sure no one was harmed by a baboon."


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