Fight over relocation of Cape baboon Kataza heads to court
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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has announced that it will be opposing a court application to have it’s decision to relocate Kommetjie baboon Kataza set aside.
Kataza (which means “troublesome” in isiXhosa), a low-ranking male, had been removed from Kommetjie after raiding several homes in the area, and resettled in Tokai by the City of Cape Town’s baboon management agents, Human Wildlife Solutions.
Tensions between residents and the City over Kataza have been escalating in recent weeks since the animal was re-settled.
His removal sparked protests from animal rights activists, who called on the City to reintegrate him back into Kommetjie. The City has since been pleading with residents not to disturb the baboon.
Now, the city will head to court to defend its decision.
The City of Cape Town said it was notified of an application to the Western Cape High Court by Ryno Engelbrecht on October 5, 2020.
Engelbrecht is asking the Western Cape High Court to set aside the decision to relocate Kataza from Kommetjie to Tokai.
The City of Cape Town said it would be opposing the application.
"This is in the best interest of Kataza, and all other baboons whose natural habitat is the mountains adjacent to urban areas in the Cape Peninsula.
“Kataza needs space to integrate with the Tokai troop in his own time. Some residents have been following him since his relocation and we are concerned about this human interference. The City once again appeals to all to please refrain from following or feeding Kataza,” the City said.
“Kataza has been assessed on numerous occasions since his relocation, and his integration into the troop is carefully monitored. He was in a fight with another male baboon from Tokai on Saturday, October 10. Fighting between baboons is normal behaviour in determining dominance and is part of the process of being accepted into a new troop.
“At this point, no intervention is required as determined by the guidelines for dispersing male baboons in urban areas in the Cape Peninsula,” the City said.
“The City’s Baboon Programme has been in existence since 2009. To date, the programme has succeeded in limiting baboon incursions into urban areas.”
The City said the intention of the programme was to limit interaction between humans and baboons, to keep baboons out of urban areas where they face many dangers, and to ensure the safety and welfare of residents and baboons.