Baboons make mess

2017-08-29 06:01

Baboons have been causing havoc for residents and businesses in Simon’s Town, prompting the community to appeal for the City of Cape Town to intervene.

At a recent subcouncil 19 meeting, the Simon’s Town Civic Association informed the councillors that baboon activity had increased, with baboons scavenging from public bins along the main road and raiding local restaurants and cafes.

The association’s Brigid Jackson says troops of baboons have been marauding, forcing residents to lock away their food and pets.

“The residents at Admiral’s Kloof have been affected, as well as the residents of Murdoch Valley. The historic mile from the station right into the centre of town has been affected,” she says.

“The theft of food from private homes, as well as businesses, is a concern. The raiding of the public bins is leaving litter.

“The businesses cannot operate if baboons steal and are scaring their customers,” she says.

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, says the baboon activity has increased over the last 18 months and raiding now occurs daily.

“Human Wildlife Solutions was awarded a three-year baboon ranger contract in June by the City and their monthly reports to July are available [online]. The reports detail all monthly baboon activity in the Waterfall troop,” he says.

The reports reflect an increase in raiding in the Waterfall area as a result of infighting among adult males in the group and poor waste management by humans, Herron explains.

Raids“The poor waste management and the lack of baboon proofing at [local barracks and a local shelter] has led to baboons running down in the mornings to raid. These raids have now escalated into town and are affecting local restaurants that have no baboon proofing.”

“Baboon raiding is now a daily occurrence and baboon rangers are working tirelessly in an attempt to stop baboons from entering Simon’s Town. The dynamics of the troop are being ­investigated.”

The association is now requesting the City to exchange all public bins with baboon-proof bins and to implement “baboon virtual ­fences”.

Herron says while baboon proofing will prevent baboons getting into public bins, changes in the behaviour of locals also need to be ­implemented.

“Baboon ranger area managers have had numerous meetings with [the parties involved] to rectify and baboon-proof the noticeable attractions for the baboons,” Herron says.

“[One party] has responded by removing all its fruit trees. However, improved waste management by humans at these locations has not to date been addressed and no solutions have yet been ­implemented.”

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