Waste is fast food for baboons

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Capetonians who do not manage their waste efficiently could see their homes and neighbourhoods becoming fast food outlets for baboons, the City of Cape Town said on Friday.

Biodiversity manager Julia Wood said people tended to stock up on food in summer, which meant more waste to be disposed of and a possible food source for wild animals.

"We appeal to residents and visitors in baboon-prone areas to manage their waste at home, in cars and while visiting recreational areas," she said.

Baboon-proof bins

"The city needs your support to create baboon-free residential areas and this requires the co-operation of every resident."

Residents in areas with baboon populations should ensure they had baboon-proof bins provided by the city.

As a precaution against the sticky and nimble fingers of primates, people were urged to buy two strong padlocks to properly secure these bins.

Wood said doors should be locked and windows closed when baboons were in the area. One could also install burglar bars with very small gaps on windows that were usually kept open.

Food should not be left on display inside the house, such as a bowl of fruit on a window sill. Pet food and seed for wild birds should not be placed outside.

Baboon hotline

Should a lone baboon or a pack be spotted, Wood said it was important to warn the neighbours and phone the city's baboon hotline.

"Keep a hosepipe close by as water is effective in chasing away baboons," she said.

The northern suburbs of Johannesburg had its own monkey business earlier in the week with a baboon flitting about residential areas.

"He is proving to be like trying to track down Spiderman," said Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) wildlife unit inspector Wendy Wilson.

He was not the only baboon in the city. A couple of lone baboons came and went in residential areas because their natural habitat was being encroached on.

Pressure to survive

"We leave them less and less space to move... The troops experience more and more pressure to survive," said Wilson.

"They push out the ones that are not necessary to the troop dynamic, and those ones are left with the situation to make their own way."

The baboon had been on his journey in the suburbs for about a week.

(Picture; Waste bins from Shutterstock)

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