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Simon’s Town’s raiding baboon finally finds a new home in the Eastern Cape

File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 18, 2022


Cape Town - The saga of relocating a baboon, SWB12, with raiding behaviour in Simon’s Town is coming to an end after more than five months.

“CapeNature has issued a permit to have a young dispersing male baboon from the Smitswinkel Bay troop translocated to the Stormberg Conservation Baboon and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in the Eastern Cape,” Cape Town’s local government, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA and CapeNature said on Friday.

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Although there is no exact time frame for when SWB12 will be translocated to the Eastern Cape, arrangements are being finalised to capture and then transport the primate “as soon as possible”.

Earlier this month, CapeNature, Cape SPCA and the City of Cape Town (CoCT) provided renewed hope for SWB12 when an invitation was extended for organisations to apply to translocate the baboon to a wildlife facility outside the Western Cape.

It was the last hope for SWB12, who had twice failed to integrate with the Da Gama troop in December 2021 and in February this year.

Prior to this, the public was warned that if the relocation was unsuccessful to the Da Gama troop, SWB12 may be euthanised.

“He may not integrate at all and display raiding behaviour in his new environment. In such case, one of the outcomes that may need to be considered as a last resort is euthanasia,” CapeNature, CoCT and Cape SPCA said in December.

The Da Gama troop was thought to be SWB12’s ideal fit since the troop has no alpha and his genetics were said to have been valuable to the troop.

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Once SWB12 dispersed from his natal troop in late October 2021, he spent and currently spends the majority of his time in Simon’s Town, where the primate showed increased raiding behaviour.

This posed a tremendous risk to his own life as an urbanised environment poses many risks such as traffic, dogs and hostile residents.

“The City’s service provider, NCC Environmental Services, will keep on monitoring SWB12 until the translocation has been effected,” they said.

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