Kataza the baboon is settling in at the Kommetjie home of the Slangkop troop and has briefly started interacting with the troop again. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Kataza the baboon is settling in at the Kommetjie home of the Slangkop troop and has briefly started interacting with the troop again. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

'Kataza’s forced removal has caused so much damage'

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Nov 16, 2020

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Cape Town - Kataza the baboon is settling in at the Kommetjie home of the Slangkop troop and has briefly started interacting with the troop again.

Kataza was released within his natal Slangkop home troop range at about 3.5km from the urban area.

The City said in a statement: “He was not returned in direct proximity to the troop as he needed an opportunity to acclimatise and also to minimise the risk of attacks by the dominant male in the Slangkop troop. He is however familiar with this area.”

Biologist and Guardians of the Deep (Marine Science and Ocean Conservation) director Sally Sivewright said: “We have only seen Kataza and members of the troop together once, on Friday. Kataza was then seen in Kommetjie on Friday night, sleeping in the Slangkop mountains on the cliffs above the houses.”

She said Kataza might skirt around the troop before he rejoined fully.

“Reuniting with the troop could take a while and that is why the authorities have allowed a settling-in period. Kataza’s forced removal by the authorities has caused so much damage, so many knock-on effects, that no one can predict how his future is going to play out,” she said.

Sivewright said Kataza had shone a light on the poor state of baboon management and it was hoped the public would keep pressuring authorities to change the management protocols.

The City said: “We kindly request the local community of Kommetjie and surrounds to please allow Kataza to adapt to his surroundings and to not follow or feed him. This is pivotal, as interference may have an impact on his movements.”

Kataza and the Slangkop troop will be monitored as usual by the City’s service provider, NCC Environmental Services.

Cape Argus

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