Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
A new R1 million, 2.8km fence, soon to be electrified, is already keeping baboons out of the suburbs.
Cape Town’s newest baboon management strategy has been erected to control the interaction between humans and baboons.
As urban sprawl continues, baboon habitats throughout the Cape Peninsula have been threatened and human-baboon interactions are all the more common.
According to Dr Elzette Jordan, a veterinary scientist for the City of Cape Town, electric fences are the only proven successful method of keeping baboons out of the residential areas.
“We are trying various other methods, but there are always a huge amount of breakthroughs,” she said. “I’m not saying that it’s probably not possible for the baboon to cross the gate, but there are far less instances.”
The fence was built to keep the animals away from a section of residential properties in Zwaanswyk Road. It is 2m high and runs between Tokai Road and the northern slopes of Ou Kaapse Weg where it meets up with an existing fence. Final checks are being made to see if there are any entry points for baboons.
Solar panels have been installed and the electrification of the fence will start in the coming weeks, according to John Green, a conservationist and former president of the Wildlife and Environment Society of SA.
Green, who is on the board for the Zwaanswyk Association of Property Owners, said there had already been a decrease in baboon-related incidents. Baboons would typically raid vegetable gardens, enter homes and attack household pets. When gates were left open, they often got through.
The fence is being paid for by residents, who have seen their rates increase as a result.