'Virtual fence' keeps Cape baboons at bay

2016-04-09 12:00
A new committee has been established to manage human and baboon relations in Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A new committee has been established to manage human and baboon relations in Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town – A "virtual fence" has been activated in Gordon's Bay as part of a baboon-management strategy, the City of Cape Town said on Friday.

The fence was installed in mid-January and since then there have been no incidents of the troop in the area entering the town, mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning Johan van der Merwe said.

Explaining how the fence worked, he said when the troop entered the zone between their home range, in the protected area, and the houses of Gordon’s Bay, speakers emitted the noise of a predator, such as a lion.

The virtual fence then became a virtual boundary zone in the minds of the baboon troop and ultimately resulted in the animals staying out of the town.

 "In the past five years there has been a steady increase in the amount of time this troop spends in and around Gordon’s Bay," Van der Merwe said.

"Baboons are extremely opportunistic and have learned that residential houses neighbouring the protected area are an easy foraging source."

Van der Merwe said he was pleased with the success of the fence.

He gave his assurance that the fence did not reduce the baboons' foraging area.

Better human waste management practices in Gordon’s Bay had assisted in reducing human-baboon conflict, including the roll-out of double-lockable baboon-proof bins in affected areas and an increase in general awareness.

Read more on:    cape town  |  technology

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