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Many hopeful at Scott the baboon's second chance to integrate into Da Gama troop

Scott (SWB12) a dispersing (leaves birth group) male baboon from the Smitswinkel Bay troop has been given a second opportunity to be relocated to the Da Gama Park troop. Picture: Supplied

Scott (SWB12) a dispersing (leaves birth group) male baboon from the Smitswinkel Bay troop has been given a second opportunity to be relocated to the Da Gama Park troop. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 24, 2022

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Cape Town - A Smitswinkel Bay dispersing baboon, Scott, has been given another lease on life following his successful relocation to the Da Gama troop.

Conservation groups and activists are now crossing fingers for his successful integration into the troop to avoid the dreaded euthanasia, which the authorities said would be the last resort.

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Scott, also known as SWB12, was captured on Wednesday and has been given a second chance to integrate with the troop, following a different methodology that was applied during his capture and release in an effort to increase his chances of successful integration.

Scott was scheduled to be captured and relocated in December following public pressure from the interest groups after concerns about his safety in the urban area.

However, previous attempts have failed and he has since been spending his time in Simon’s Town and surrounds, reportedly displaying raiding behaviour.

The last relocation attempt saw Scott returning to Simon's Town within a few hours.

The authorities said that should Scott integrate, he may spend most of his time with his new troop, in the natural environment, however, warned that he may return to Simon’s Town and surrounding areas and continue the raiding behaviour in the urban setting.

His movements and attempts at integration with the troop would be monitored.

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Councillor Appointed Representative for Baboons (Carbs) representative for Smitswinkel Bay, Chantal Carstens-Luyt raised concerns over the lack of information with regards to the capture and release.

She said authorities were tight-lipped with information until things were done.

Beauty Without Cruelty SA chairperson Toni Brockhoven said while it was reassuring to learn of Scott’s relocation, their objections with respect to the use of language remained.

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Brockhoven said the use of “euthanise” was factually incorrect and served only to try gloss over the use of the word “killing” of a healthy animal, which Scott is.

“To euthanise is to bring a gentle end to the suffering through injury, disease, or advanced age of another. Killing him, if it comes to this, will not be euthanasia.

“If the powers-that-be deem him enough of a nuisance, no matter how gently it is performed, he will be killed. And this will be an ongoing issue until human behaviour and attitudes toward coexistence are changed.

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“It can be done, it is being done," she said.

Luana Pasanisi from Green Group Simon’s Town said they were hoping the Da Gama troop was kinder and more accepting, and that Scott finds natural forage and not get tempted by easy human food.

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