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Let’s stop the cruel management of baboons in the Western Cape

The City of Cape Town and Overstrand Municipalities will spend R55m (US$3.6m) over the next 3 years chasing and killing sentient chacma baboons in these territories. They employ third-party contractors to chase baboon families away from households by shooting them with paintball guns. Protocols allow them to kill them when they are deemed “repeat offenders” for feeding on garbage that humans carelessly dispose of. They also clasp heavy collars on these baboons that impede their movements, in order to track their whereabouts.

It’s crucial to get the two municipalities to reconsider their plans.

I believe that there are more cost effective and humane solutions for baboon management that municipalities must consider before employing these third-party contractors.

We do not want baboons in our homes, but neither do we want to see six hundred and fifty baboons being mistreated and even executed. If these municipalities consider alternative solutions, I believe we can create an environment where humans and baboons can live in harmony.

Currently there are inadequate bylaws for baboon proofing, waste management, provision of baboon proof bins and community education.

We are asking the municipalities to:

  • Create a secure manned, waste management area that is baboon proof
  • Inform residents how to baboon proof their homes to pass the necessary by-laws
  • Provide each household with baboon proof bin brackets
  • Fine households that leave their rubbish bags out on the street without it being in a secure baboon proof bin and fully enforce all by-laws

By putting these measures in place, I believe it will not only cost the municipalities much less that employing third-party contractors, but that it will be an effective solution for humans to live harmoniously alongside our wildlife.

Our main message to the City of Cape Town and Overstrand Municipalities, Cape Nature and SANParks:

  • Don’t deploy third-party contractors who are known to have Chacma baboon families shot with paintballs, collared and killed in Overstrand West.
  • Instead of spending millions on chasing and killing baboons, rather spend some of that money on creating an alternative waste management solution to keep baboons away humanely.

Read references here about current contractors who are managing baboons on behalf of the municipality and lack of decent waste management in Cape Town areas: 

Capetalk – HWS monitors paintball ‘peacefully foraging’ baboons in Hangklip Nature Reserve
IOL – City of Cape Town’s Kataza about turn sparks calls for baboon management protocols reviews
News24 – Kommetjie baboon reprieved from sentence of death
News – Urban Wildlife Managing Cape Towns baboons
Daily – #BringBackKataza: How the Cape went ape over a single baboon – Animal activist to fight for Kataza – Kataza, All for one and one for all

UPDATE – 25 March 2021

Thank you so much to every person who has supported our cause thus far. In 2020 we asked for donations and have raised R19,000. We included the offering of winning a bin when donating, and we’re happy to announce that Therese, a Betty’s Bay resident won the baboon proof bin, made by Cornelia – a Pringle Bay resident. Both pictured opposite.

Due to your support and other like-minded earth citizens we have made some progress. HWS and their paintball guns, bear bangers etc were not deployed in Betty’s Bay last year November 2020.   The Overstrand Municipality, through various consultations and discussions, have now agreed that a pilot approach of soft monitoring would be followed.  Sounds promising, but we will keep an eye on the situation and have paused our request for further donations for now.

Draft waste by-laws are out for public comment by mid-April 2021 – if you’re a resident you can view them on the Overstrand Municipality website. Once again we need to ensure that we get effective laws on the books and then assure that the Overstrand Municipality and residents get their waste under control.

Some small, hard-fought wins have been achieved.

We continue to push on, Kobus Van De Venter

We have a baboon proof bin winner!

We picked a random winner from the kind donors who were willing to help our cause – to protect Western Cape baboons from cruel management techniques. Our battle continues but there is hope for progress, now that local residents are pushing for a more ethical approach to baboon management in Betty’s Bay. Therese, who won the bin, shares some of her own experience in trying to help baboons and humans live in harmony.

Buy a baboon proof bin
Therese Bradley (left) pictured with her new bin, made by Cornelia Stoop (right) who makes baboon proof bins in Pringle Bay.

What a happy day it was for us to be informed that we were the lucky winners of the competition for an animal proof bin, manufactured by Cornelia.

We moved from KZN to Betty’s Bay just over 4 years ago and just love living in this piece of paradise.

We specifically chose this place as our future home because we were in awe of the beauty of the area, but most of all, because of all the flora and fauna still present in this part of the earth.

We believe that living close to a biosphere necessitates, a love of nature and a true respect for all living beings which have been given the privilege to be put on the earth.

We think that part of that respect is to manage waste responsibly, so as not to encourage potential conflict between humans and animals, and to ensure that when that conflict does occur, that it is managed humanely and fairly.

So thanks so much for our bin, it will go a long way in our commitment to managing waste responsibly.

Therese Bradley – Betty’s Bay

Update – JANUARY 2022.

Since writing this post, we have sadly seen one of our Betty’s Bay troop members removed by the authorities and sadly ending in his death. The fight continues and so we have now created a non-profit organisation called Save Cape Baboons. Our soul purpose is to raise funds, so that we can legally change the way baboons are managed in the Western Cape. We believe the future is to protect baboons and create co-existing practices, not murder them and vilify for the sake of human convenience. Please use the link below to support this cause. Thank you to the OYOO team for building our new online home and for your support.

Kobus Van De Venter

Go to Save Cape Baboons

Baboon images sourced from Adobe stock.

Kobus Van De Venter

Author Kobus Van De Venter

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