Cape Town 100721. Baboon Monitors keep an eye on a troop in the Tokai area. PHOTO SAM CLARK, CA, Este

Cape Town - An aggressive male baboon that attacked a Swiss woman hiking on her own in the Tokai plantation has been destroyed after an urgent application to CapeNature’s wildlife advisory committee for its removal was approved.

A visiting research team from the US had stopped following the Tokai troop for the previous two weeks because they were so scared of this baboon, ear-tagged and officially identified as TK24.

Another male baboon, TK25 that was originally from the Tokai troop but that had been relocated to the Kommetjie area in 2009, was also destroyed for aggressive behaviour and raiding.

The animals were killed on November 15 and 16, the Baboon Technical Team – the joint baboon management authority of the City of Cape Town, SA National Parks and CapeNature – said.

The team said rangers had monitored TK24 for several months and had reported his aggressive behaviour to visitors at least seven times in the previous month and his involvement in at least five raids a week, notably near the Tokai Arboretum.

The final straw had been the baboon’s attack on the Swiss woman on November 15, reported by a long-time Tokai resident who declined to be publicly identified for fear of retribution from animal rights activists, according to the team.

Her account stated in part:

“My walking partner and I were walking in the Tokai plantation on the uphill track between levels one and two when we encountered a troop of baboons on the path. This happens very regularly on our walks in the forest, and we paid them no attention as usual.

“We were rather alarmed to hear screaming from just a few metres ahead of us where a lone female hiker was fighting off a large male baboon.

“My friend and I rushed to the woman’s assistance, screaming and throwing rocks at the animal. He tore her rucksack (which contained no food) and her water bottle from her and ransacked it thoroughly...

“We told her to walk behind us and stick together to present a united front. The animal came for her five or six more times, leaping on her and physically attacking her.

“This is an extremely dangerous animal... He is an appalling accident just waiting to happen.” - Cape Argus