Kataza has spent much of his time in the residential area of Capri. Picture: NCC Environmental Services
Kataza has spent much of his time in the residential area of Capri. Picture: NCC Environmental Services

Beloved baboon Kataza continues to raid homes despite best efforts of rangers

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Jan 6, 2021

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Cape Town - The NCC Environment Services has encouraged people to alert authorities to the whereabouts of beloved Kommetjie baboon Kataza as he continues to raid homes in urban areas and has not shown any interest in interacting with other troops.

Members of the public have also been urged not to interfere with him.

Kataza was returned to Kommetjie in November following his controversial relocation to join the Zwaanswyk troop in Tokai in August after he was said to have begun to inbreed, causing the troop to splinter and compromising the welfare of all members.

The City-appointed service provider for the Urban Baboon Programme, NCC Environment Services, said that despite the assistance of rangers it has been very difficult to keep Kataza from entering the urban space.

“Kataza-specific rangers, appointed for a 20-day period, have attempted to discourage his raiding behaviour by encouraging him to remain within the natural space where his chances of integrating with a troop would be greatly increased.

“(But) Kataza has not shown any interest in interacting with nearby troops and has instead focused his time on accessing high calorie human food on properties,” the services group said.

Baboon Matters founder Jenni Trethowan said Kataza has been spotted in the Sunnydale and Sun Valley area where he has spent some nights sleeping on the roof of a shopping mall.

“The service provider has traditional monitors and is trying to get him back towards the mountain. People are being asked to leave Kataza alone and if you do see him just give him lots of space.

“He is not looking for any trouble… everybody should just keep their distance and let him find his way to a long-term healthy existence. But we are waiting to hear from decision-makers the City about what the long-term plans for this baboon will be, noting that none of us will accept him (being) euthanised,” Trethowan said.

Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said on Tuesday they had called for an urgent meeting with the City to resolve the matter in Kataza’s best interests.

“The SPCA believes the only way forward to resolve this matter, in the best interest of Kataza and his welfare, is to send him to an approved rehabilitation centre to avoid euthanasia.

“The SPCA has always maintained that Kataza would face the same challenges reintegrating with his Natal troop as he faced in Tokai. We continue to advocate for his rehabilitation at a sanctuary before he is released into the wild again,” Abraham said.

Mayco member for Spatial Planning and Environment Marian Nieuwoudt said the City was aware of the situation.

“We are engaging with all the relevant stakeholders, including the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, about SK11, colloquially known as Kataza, about possible solutions, and we will update the public accordingly in due course.”

Ward 61 councillor Simon Liell-Cock said he was in Klipper Crescent on Tuesday where Kataza was raiding houses. He said there were people following Kataza and interfering with the control of his activities.

Liell-Cock urged the public to leave the baboon alone.

Those who spot Kataza can call The Baboon Hotline on 071 588 6570 to report sightings.

Cape Times

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