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Conservation groups say Bolo the baboon was killed, not put down

Bolo the baboon was admitted to SPCA two weeks ago for a vision impairment treatment and was cleared to be released last week. Picture: Cape of Good Hope SPCA

Bolo the baboon was admitted to SPCA two weeks ago for a vision impairment treatment and was cleared to be released last week. Picture: Cape of Good Hope SPCA

Published Jul 23, 2021

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Cape Town - Conservation groups are fuming over yet another “killing” of an adult baboon from the Simons Town Waterfall troop by the City/Cape Nature.

Bolo the baboon was admitted to SPCA two weeks ago for a vision impairment treatment and was cleared to be released last week.

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However, conservation organisations said they were shocked to learn that despite being declared medically fit by SPCA, he was put down on Tuesday.

Conservation group Baboon Matters said Bolo was not euthanised but killed.

“The Waterfall troops have been sorely tempted by the rich rewards of easy foods at the SA Navy dock and barracks for many years, but recently food rewards seem to have soared.

“In conjunction with a high staff turnover of the current service provider, the lure of rich rewards and inexperienced staff meant that baboons could easily run down to the dock yard or barrack.

“In terms of the contentious BTTG3 protocols, Bolo was deemed to be a problem, but what about the ongoing problematic waste at the Navy and business areas of Simon’s Town? Why are there still no appropriate baboon proof bins? And despite having recovered his eyesight, why was Bolo killed?” the group asked.

Luana Pasanisi, from Green Group Simon’s Town, said Bolo was not an aged baboon but was a formidable natal alpha in his prime.

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“He had lifelong bonds with his troop and despite the mysterious incursions of new males entering the waterfall in the last few months and many dominance fights, he kept his position. For an alpha like Bolo to be treated in this manner is reprehensible,” said Pasanisi.

SPCA chief inspector Jaco Pieterse said the organisation did not support the euthanasia of Bolo from a welfare perspective.

“The SPCA's involvement in this case was only from a welfare perspective and the determination reached by CapeNature was reached from a management perspective.

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“Therefore the SPCA refused to action the instruction by CapeNature to euthanise Bolo and requested that CapeNature, the City of Cape Town or its appointed service provider collect him from the SPCA and execute the management instruction,” said Pieterse.

In a joint statement, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt and CapeNature executive director for conservation operations, Dr Ernst Baard, said releasing the animal would have most likely resulted in future troop destabilisation and potential welfare compromises.

They said irrespective of a full recovery from the condition in his right eye, the baboon would have remained visually impaired, if not fully blind in the left eye, due to advanced cataracts.

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Related Topics:

City of Cape Town

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