Anger at ‘murder’ of Scarface the baboon
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CAPE TOWN - Animal activists reeling from the death of Betty Bay’s beloved baboon Scarface are calling for a holistic community driven baboon monitoring programme.
This is as the Overstrand Local Municipality has defended the decision to euthanise Scarface, saying all other options had been exhausted.
The municipality said a case history of the animal had 94 reported incidents, of which 21 were raiding of occupied houses, 11 incidents of threatening behaviour and 35 incidents of breaking and entering, and damaging property.
Scarface, also known as BBM1 had also charged and challenged the staff appointed to manage baboons on numerous occasions.
“Also considered was the interest, safety and welfare of the Betty’s Bay/Kleinmond troop as a whole, the safety of local residents, and the risk of BBM1 being injured or killed through inhumane methods due to spending more and more time in the urban area, while also leading a splinter group into the urban areas transferring his taught behaviour to others,” said municipal manager Dani O’Neill.
Human Wildlife Solutions (HWS) referred questions to the municipality.
Terry Corr, of Baboon Solutions said the baboon management system should be changed.
“The baboons need to be seen as tourism icons not problem animals.
“Killing of adult males has to be removed from the table as there are other non lethal options that were not properly considered.
“The raiding of homes increased with the HWS presence which focuses on creating a landscape of fear, It is unacceptable. HWS must be fired and their contract deemed failed. All officials from the mayor downwards should be thoroughly investigated and charges of animal cruelty be instituted, if necessary.
“We cannot fight for the life of every single baboon that acts like one. Coexistence is the only way to go and should be actively encouraged, education should be a priority and all waste management must be seriously improved. Scarface must not have been murdered in vain. We want answers and we want our solutions considered,” Corr said.