Where the mountain meets the sea and the dassies greet him, a proud male Chacma baboon, Kataza stood tall as he shook off the light overnight rain on his beautiful mane. He stood proudly on Baboon rock ….
He paused and surveyed the coastline, to his right Hout Bay and the Sentinel, to his left down to Scarborough and the tip of the Cape Peninsula.
His family joined him on the cliff edge.
Yes this was HIS Kingdom, passed down from his ancestors and those that came before……he hears a shot and feels the all too familiar pain as the dart penetrates his body….
Suddenly, all goes dark, again. He can hear people shouting and he is being carried roughly down the mountain. He wanted to get up and run but his body wouldn’t work, he could hear his family calling out to him, then the noise of those dreaded paintball guns. How they hated them….
He wakes to find himself in this strange land, with different food, with baboons that don’t like him, are threatened by his presence and they smell different….. and they want to kill him. This is Survivor Cape Town I have been a Conservationist on the Cape Peninsula for more than 40 years, I have also grown up with, lived with and tried my best to help every Baboon that crossed my path and during these last few months, I found myself pulled right into the shocking debacle that was the continued torture of a fine male Chacma Baboon called Kataza. Sure, he was a naughty boy in his home town of Kommetjie, and eventually the Baboon monitors, ‘Human Wildlife Solutions’ (HWS) removed him to an area called Tokai way across onto the central section of the TMNP to teach him & us what happens to a baboon that is ‘too clever for his own good’.
What dear old Kataza had to deal with, with being attacked by a male baboon twice, being continually chased around in a foreign landscape with total strangers, being totally exhausted, injured, bloodied and his spirit was weak. He was to be euthanaised and he was fighting for his life, whilst humans were posing for Facebook pics with him……
Based largely on what we experienced on the ground, in the trenches, we joined hands across a huge chasm to form Baboon Solutions to try to find some nature based solutions to the many baboon problems. We had to intervene to save Katazas life & now he is safe in the Riverside Wildlife Centre in Limpopo, where he is thriving under the incredible care of Bob, Mias & Lynne Venter.
Kataza does not just represent himself: He represents every single Chacma Baboon that has been chased, collared, darted, paint balled, sprayed, shot at, poisoned, shocked, electrocuted, hit by speeding cars….
Even though many of us are experienced and qualified conservationists, we continue to be labeled as ‘Baboon activists’ by the authorities.
But….We are Angry!
We want you to Stop the Killing of our Baboons and remove euthanasia off the table.
Death is not a Solution!
We choose Life over Death.
The authorities must know that they are failing our baboons and if they do not make ethical amends based on animal welfare concerns, they will fall as a result. The antagonism and political fallout that has grown out of Katazas plight will topple the City of Cape Town Mayco & the Overberg & other local Municipalities, if this petition is not addressed in a decisive way through a committed course of action that embraces holistic management principles, based on sustainability, real science, efficient waste management & extensive community involvement, including employment with in the Programme. City of Cape Town Mayco Councillor Marian Niewoudt still doesn’t have a clue how many Baboon proof bins there are in Kommetjie, yet she condoned the removal of Kataza for raiding. Phil Richardson of HWS didn’t know either. It’s a key issue because this is where the problem emanates. It’s not Katazas fault or Scarface’s fault that the authorities can’t manage anything properly and when residents and ratepayers, that pay your salaries, are treated with disdain, it rubs us up the wrong way.
This evening, Bolo a 14 yr old Alpha male from the Waterfall troop in Simonstown was killed for the same reasons……..
We the voters will hold our authorities & political parties, who we pay through our municipal rates, fully accountable for the disappearance of our baboons under their watch.
Point the finger back at yourselves.
Kataza holds you fully responsible and they want their land back.
It’s a Good Question that No One wants to Address!
Where is Their land, Overstrand Municipality? Where……..
There is no such place called AWAY!
They were here long before you humans ever set foot on their shores.
In 1994, we humans received Freedom yet the baboons have never tasted it, as they are chased around and shot at with lethal paintball guns, collared and treated like Slaves!
Why are they treated like this? What is your underlying agenda, now spreading to the Overberg. You call it CONservation, we call it MURDER!
Yet through our incredible, interspecies conversations we got to hear first hand what happened to the baboon we call Kataza.