Two young Chacma Baboons or Cape Baboons fight for dominance. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Two young Chacma Baboons or Cape Baboons fight for dominance. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Growing calls to end the killing of Chacma baboons

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Aug 13, 2021

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Cape Town - Animal rights organisation Beauty Without Cruelty, alongside conservation groups and activists, held a demonstration outside CapeNature on Wednesday, calling for the organisation to stop issuing permits to kill the Chacma baboons.

Toni Brockhoven, from Beauty Without Cruelty, said procedures and protocols placed the blame on baboons foraging in urban areas, with little regard for the failings of human apathy, which attract them to residential areas.

“The irrational idea that killing so-called ‘problem’ animals solves the problem has been the guiding rule in wildlife management, but the killing tactics aren’t working.

“Through effective education, law enforcement, punitive measures and strategy, we can manage people to ensure coexistence. Hurting baboons and killing them for trying to survive in their ever-decreasing space is not the answer,” she said.

Activist Debby Zuanni said it was outrageous that baboons were “protected”, yet one can kill one a day, according to the provincial government Annual Hunting Notice. She said the killing of baboons was mostly for bad behaviour.

“They are animals, not humans. You can’t say to a baboon you’re not allowed to eat fruit from the apple tree. You need to tell the human to secure his apple tree. There are no by-laws for humans who live next to nature, nor does the City provide baboon proof bins. Instead they make the baboons criminals for normal opportunistic behaviour.

“The City of Cape Town and the Overstrand Municipality should not be winning any tourism awards – how can you sign an International Tourism Charter and, in the same breath, you are killing wildlife because they are deemed an inconvenience to residents,” she said.

BEAUTY Without Cruelty members and conservation groups, outside Cape Nature yesterday, calling for the organisation to stop issuing permits to kill the Chacma baboons.

Zuanni said authorities had criminalised baboon behaviour and given them “rap sheets”, which ultimately end in their killing.

CapeNature executive director on conservation operations Dr Ernst Baard said recommendations for euthanasia were done using the agreed-upon scientific guidelines used to evaluate baboon behaviour.

“Any landowner, including private individuals, who need to perform certain restricted activities regulated by the Nature Conservation Ordinance and associated with human-baboon conflict management on the Cape Peninsula, may apply for a permit. The permit is not issued automatically and may be granted only after reviewing the complete application,” said Baard.

He said CapeNature was in the process of engaging the management authorities on strategic baboon management and stakeholder engagement, and a workshop on revising the guidelines will be scheduled soon.

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