Baboons between Simonstown and Cape Point. At Cape Point baboons have been involved in petty crimes, such as steeling food from visitors, as well as more serious matters. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Baboons between Simonstown and Cape Point. At Cape Point baboons have been involved in petty crimes, such as steeling food from visitors, as well as more serious matters. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Search for compassionate solution to avoid the killing of baboons in the Cape Peninsula

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Aug 11, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - Conservation lobby groups and activists have started a petition to stop the City and CapeNature from “killing” Chacma baboons on the Cape Peninsula.

The groups, which are calling for a moratorium on the killing of baboons and a workshop with the authorities, said they have been asking for this from 2009 and, in this period, 81 baboons have been killed under the baboon management protocols.

They called for a more empathetic approach to managing the baboons. The moratorium will be handed over to CapeNature today.

Activist Debby Zuanni said a new way forward with stakeholders must be planned, and old protocols and management guidelines be reassessed and overhauled. She said alternatives – for paintball guns, bear bangers, and constant harassment of the troops – have to be found.

Zuanni said Cape Nature should not provide “killing” permits for baboons in the province, until a new way forward has been found and implemented.

“Conservation has evolved. We are fast moving towards the sixth mass extinction and there has to be a concerted effort to protect the wildlife and ecosystems that still exist. The old ways no longer work and are no longer acceptable. We need a more holistic approach and not the old pragmatic way. We are all interconnected and our baboons have every right to be here, and we need to be able to live harmoniously with them,” she said.

Lorraine Holloway, from Baboons of the South, said their standpoint was that baboons needed to be kept outside the urban edge for their own safety and for the peace of mind of communities.

“Baboons of the South, together with others, had two meetings with the mayor in September and October 2020, and a very fruitful meeting with Cape Nature in November 2020.

“We asked the City to set up a task team, which they agreed to do, but there has been no sign of the task team to date. The fact that ‘activists’ are all summarily dismissed as ‘emotional’ and ‘disingenuous’ is the problem,” she said.

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt said CapeNature was currently leading engagements with authorities about the long-term challenges and solutions to ensure there was a healthy and sustainable Chacma baboon population in the Cape Peninsula.

She said the ongoing discussions concern, among others, critical aspects of governance, regulation, agreements and plans for baboon management, as well as the City’s approach to its urban baboon programme.

Nieuwoudt said engagements with stakeholders and residents will follow once the internal engagements between authorities – among which CapeNature, the Western Cape Government, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, and the City of Cape Town – have been finalised.

CapeNature did not respond by time of publication.

[email protected]

Share this article: