City says speed kills animals

2015-07-18 22:11
(Urban Caracal Project)

(Urban Caracal Project)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has issued a warning to motorists speeding near local nature reserves after a number of animals were knocked down while crossing the nearby roads.

Nocturnal animals are particularly vulnerable, and a number of animals have been killed on Otto du Plessis Drive and the R27 near the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, as well as on Oukaapse Weg, officials said in a statement.

A caracal and Cape grysbok were recently killed on the road between Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand, near the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve. Other animals that have been killed over the last year include tortoises, Cape cobras, mole snakes, small-spotted genets and porcupines.

According to the City, animals are in most cases hesitant to cross roads because it is a foreign environment to them so they will often do so suddenly and unexpectedly.

Johan van der Merwe, mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning said while many motorists are unaware that they are driving through proclaimed nature reserve areas, many of the animals are nocturnal, making it difficult for motorists to see the animals at night when they unexpectedly cross the roads searching for food.

“Capetonians are fortunate to share this city with a range of unique plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. We have a responsibility to ensure that we conserve and protect our biodiversity,” he said.

The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve alone is home to at least 47 threatened plants and conserves 624 plant species, 40 mammal species, 166 types of birds, 30 species of reptile and four amphibian species, including the dwarf burrowing skink.

“The loss of a single animal can have a significant impact on the environment. The City cannot drive home the point more, other than to urge motorists to please reduce their speed to ensure their safety and that of the animals crossing the roads near nature reserves.”

Read more on:    city of cape town  |  cape town  |  animals

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