Cape Town - Cape Town is one of the most biodiverse cities in the world and home to a wide variety of wild animals that are unfortunately often in danger of being run over as many are nocturnal creatures that live and venture along the edges of urban areas at night.
In an attempt to limit these occurrences, the City has installed wildlife warning signs along five roads in the south where baboons, porcupines, tortoises, caracals, Western Leopard Toads, and many others were known to cross during the day and at night.
The new wildlife warning signage was installed along secondary arterial routes and sites identified by officials from the EMD and local City traffic engineers – Rhodes Drive in Constantia, Constantia Road, Orpen Road in Tokai, Noordhoek Road, and Simon’s Town Main Road.
Cape of Good Hope SPCA chief inspector Jaco Pieterse said the organisation saw anywhere between six and 10 cases a month involving different species hit by vehicles, so any form of permanent advance warning to motorists to look out for wildlife on the road is welcomed.
“We are seeing more wildlife being pushed into the urban edge by construction projects and development of their natural areas and it is along these roads that most of the injuries and deaths now occur (especially at night where nocturnal animals are more at risk).
“One also has to consider where signage will be most impactful; signage along highways and main roads is likely to not get noticed among all the other signage one typically sees along these routes,” he said.
Deputy mayor and spatial planning and environment Mayco member Eddie Andrews said: “The purpose of the warning signs is to make road users aware that there is a possibility that wildlife may be busy crossing the road, or may be within the road reserve, and to drive with caution.
“This is in the interest of the welfare of our precious wildlife and will also assist with the safety of road users.”
When asked about the amount spent on the signage, Andrews said it was procured as part of the City’s road signage budget. More signs are coming.
Urban Mobility Mayco member Rob Quintas said all the signs complied with the SA Road Traffic Signs manuals and were applicable to all wildlife.