Animal rights group offers R8 000 reward in search of person who shot, killed baboon in Constantia

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Three baboons are spotted near Cape Point.
Three baboons are spotted near Cape Point.
PHOTO: Nardus Engelbrecht, Gallo Images
  • A female baboon died after it was shot in an upmarket Cape Town suburb last month.
  • It's believed a civilian shot the baboon.
  • The management of baboons around Cape Town has been a sticking point in recent years.

Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) has put up an R8 000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the person who shot and killed an adult female chacma baboon nine days ago in Constantia, Cape Town.

BWC national chairperson Toni Brockhaven described the shooting as "despicable" and held the City of Cape Town responsible after it removed rangers that had been assigned to monitor baboons in Constantia in April.

"Over and above the lack of ethics, firing a weapon in a residential area is illegal. This incident must be laid at the door of the City of Cape Town which removed the rangers to depend on volunteers to monitor and assist the baboons over a treacherous road, resulting in ever more impatient residents to harm the baboons," Brockhaven said.

The incident raises fears that residents could take the law into their own hands.

READ | Activists fear for welfare of chacma baboons as City of Cape Town holds secret meetings

Gordon Chunnet, a Constantia Ratepayers and Residents Association member, said "it was an entirely predictable response to the City's withdrawal of services."

Chairperson Sheila Camerer blamed the South African National Parks (SANParks) and said it was "failing everyone miserably". She added that the City had neglected to provide baboon-proof bins.

Two "baboon angels", who monitored a troop of baboons in Constantia at the time, said the animals entered a property in Monterey Drive.

Gerry Higgs of the Tokai Baboon Action Group said she and Bonita Franklin heard glass breaking and the discharge of what they believed to be a firearm, upon which the baboons left the property.

Allowed into an adjacent property in Ombre Drive, they saw the wounded female in the corner of the garden and then on top of a wall, clearly in pain.

The National Conservation Consultants (NCC) was summoned and four rangers arrived at the scene, followed shortly by the Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), with a vet who darted the injured female and transported her to their facility.

A man who claimed to be a worker at the Monterey property was seen carrying a catapult and admitted shooting at the baboons, but "only to scare them away", a few hours before the incident.

Earlier this week, the SPCA's Jaco Pieterse said the baboon was a pregnant adult female who died "due to the extent of the injuries".

He said:

We are unsure if it is a pellet gun or normal .22. This will be confirmed after the post-mortem.

Pieterse said the SPCA had called for witnesses and were waiting for an affidavit from one of the baboon angels before visiting the property.

He said the offence was punishable with a R40 000 fine and/or 12-month imprisonment sentence under the Animal Protection Act.

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