Kataza to be tested for Covid-19 before relocation to Limpopo
Cape Town - The relocation of Kataza the baboon was officially approved by Cape Nature and he was expected to be captured yesterday, but this was postponed for reasons that are unclear.
Cape Nature chief executive Razeena Omar said: “CapeNature issued a permit to capture and translocate Kataza to the Riverside Rehabilitation Centre in Limpopo Province on Thursday. The applicant is the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, which will attempt to capture the animal for relocation, and we do not know why the capture was postponed.”
She said due to primates testing positive for Covid-19 in an American zoo this week, there was a possibility that transfer could have taken place. Therefore CapeNature had advised the applicant to test Kataza for Covid19 upon capture because of sustained proximity to humans during the last few months.
Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute director Francesca de Gasparis said: “The general public has a wide range of views on Kataza. Some people are just extremely disappointed in baboon management, that beautiful adult male baboons are given this treatment, leading to a tragic choice having to be made for them.”
She said many people would have preferred not to take the relocation option, which she attributed to lack of baboon education and effort made to allow baboons to live in their wild state alongside the human population.
Biologist and Guardians of the Deep (Marine Science and Ocean Conservation) director Sally Sivewright said: “Baboons are clever and naturally inquisitive animals, the Cape Peninsula troops live in an unfenced nature reserve closely bordered by urban areas, and so every effort should be made to baboon-proof the fringing communities, but focus does not seem to be on this at all.”
Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said: “As per our Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse, Kataza will not be captured today (Sunday). We aren't giving any further comment at this stage.”