about 60 Southern Peninsula residents took to the streets with a giant baboon puppet yesterday in protest at the number of baboons that have been shot by the authorities.
They said the authorities had killed 24 baboons in the past 18 months. Leaflets handed out said the deaths had not led to any improvement in managing the animals, nor to a significant reduction in baboon’s raiding behaviour.
Jenni Trethowan, of the Baboon Matters Trust, which held the initial management contract, said the protesters were “fed up” with the way baboons were being treated.
“It’s a pretty sorry situation. They’ve removed numerous baboons they deem to be repeat raiders. They claim they have had success in dealing with baboons, but if this is so, what is the reason? Is it because they’ve used paintballs or bear bangers or is it because they’ve removed so many baboons?
“We want to get an interdict to stop the killing until we’ve been through the data and analysed what works and what doesn’t work. We believe killing doesn’t work as a management solution.”
Trethowan said the group were also angry that the authorities were not giving them the information they had asked for on the number of baboons shot. They had arrived at 24 from the City of Cape Town’s press releases.
Trethowan said CapeNature issued permits for the authorities to shoot baboons, but such permits were not required if the baboons were in Table Mountain National Park.
Baboon Matters Trust has started legal proceedings to get an interdict to stop the authorities killing baboons while the efficacy of this approach is being analysed.
“Killing baboons is dealing with a specific animal, not with the problem.”
Julia Wood, head of biodiversity management for the City of Cape Town, said she would have to consult her staff to establish how many baboons had been shot.