The City of Cape Town urges residents to “baboon-proof” their homes this festive season.According to the City's environmental resource management department, more waste is generated in residential areas during the festive season, which may attract animals like baboons if not managed effectively.In a report, they add by ensuring that baboons do not gain direct access to food by feeding, or indirect access to food in recreational areas from open cars or from inadequate waste management at home, will play an essential role in minimising baboon visits to human areas."The City needs your support to create baboon-free residential areas and achieving this requires the co-operation of every resident," says Johann van der Merwe, the City’s Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning.Baboon-proof binsThe City adds that residents of baboon-prevalent areas should ensure they have the prescribed lockable two-pin baboon-proof bins.Lockable bins are available to residents in baboon-prone areas on request and they can also request these baboon-proof bins, or a replacement if theirs is broken, or a zero-pin, or one-pin, through the City's call centre on 0860 103 089 or their local municipal office. Residents will have to provide their nine-digit municipal rates account number to their municipality. In return the municipality will provide a 10-digit C3 notification number as a reference to the request.All residents who already have baboon-proof bins can padlock their bins to better secure them from baboon raids. The City’s solid waste management department will be able to empty the bin even with the padlocks in place. It is also urged that residents use two strong padlocks to properly secure their bins, thus removing one of the greatest temptations in residential areas from the baboons.The City asked residents to contact their local municipal office or the City of Cape Town on 021 400 5239 or email Arina.Muller@capetown.gov.za about this.10 tips to reduce baboon raids• Note the times of the recycling truck service to make sure the waste is only put out near the time of collection, to avoid waste from piling up in the neighbourhood.• Ensure bins are baboon-proof and have locks on the latches.• Warn neighbours when baboons are in the vicinity.• Report the presence of any baboons in the suburbs – or any incident with baboons - to the Baboon Reporting Helpline on 071 588 6540. • Install burglar bars (with gaps smaller than 8 cm, including the sides and tops of the bars) on windows you usually keep open.• If there are no burglar bars or security doors, then keep doors locked and windows closed when baboons are in the vicinity.• Never leave food on display inside the house (for instance a bowl of fruit on a windowsill or kitchen table).• Never leave pet food out or feed pets outside the home.• Never put seeds out for wild birds.• Fruit trees, vegetable gardens and compost heaps are not recommended, unless they are in a locked, caged area or surrounded by electric fencing.TourismTour operators and their clients and tourists are requested to view baboons responsibly and not exit their cars to photograph or view baboons. Tourists and operators are urged to keep their doors and windows locked.The law"The City would like to remind the public that baboons are a protected species in the Western Cape, in terms of the Cape Nature Conservation Laws Amendment Act, 2000, Ordinance 19 of 1974. "The law also states that it is illegal to feed baboons; to poison, trap, hurt or kill a baboon by driving with the intent to kill; hunt by shooting at baboons using a pellet gun, catapult, bow-and-arrow, stoning, setting your dog on them, or using a weapon of any kind in order to injure a baboon; or to keep a baboon in captivity without a permit. All these offences are punishable by law and carry stiff penalties. Residents are encouraged to report any tip-offs regarding transgressions, or any other baboon-related incidents to the Baboon Helpline, says Van der Merwe. Any baboon-related incidents can be reported to the Baboon Reporting Helpline on 071 588 6540.