Baboon on your stoep?
Over the past few months a small baboon troop has started coming into the village. Previously one or two dispersing males have been our only visitors. Only they can be interesting to observe we need to guard from them becoming habituated and getting 'too close'.
· The chacma baboon is a protected species
· We do not want them to become habituated to areas within the urban edge
· Remove or secure as many food sources as possible – rubbish, ripe fruit, pet food including bird feeders and of course prevent access into your home.
· Move them towards the outskirts and alert your neighbours
The law: Baboons are a protected species in the Western Cape (CapeNature Conservation Laws Amendment Act, 2000,Ordinance 19 of 1974). It is illegal to feed baboons; to poison, trap, hurt or kill a baboon by driving with the intent to kill; hunt by shooting at baboons using a pellet gun, catapult, bow-and-arrow, stoning, setting your dog on them, or use a weapon of any kind in order to injure a baboon; or to keep a baboon in captivity without a permit. All these offences are punishable by law and carry stiff penalties.
Furthermore pain is not a sufficient deterrent if the promise of easy pickings remains.
Food is scarce because almost all the old vegetation in a large radius around Greyton has burnt in recent years. This could account for their increased presence in the village where food is abundant. Bird feeders, pet food, refuse and fruit trees all attract baboons.
For many people the baboons pose no threat and they may think it quaint to have these creatures in the village. There is however the threat that as they become more habituated with humans and dependant on a regular food source they will lose their fear of humans, attack or terrorise our pets and start to enter our homes.
If there is no food available and we continually shoo them out of the village they will slowly unlearn the habit of searching here for food. They seem to move away if you come out of the house and make a bit of a noise – mimic their ‘huh’, bang the door or clap your hands. They also don’t like the hose turned on them! Without a concerted and combined effort of all residents, weekenders and visitors we are unlikely to dissuade them from searching for easy pickings.
Even if we all play game we may have to employ people to monitor the movement of the troop and to keep them away from the urban edge. That will of course depend on funds, staff and management and it is uncertain where this will come from.
Please report any baboon behaviour to Andrew White on 082 835 2668 or firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can draw an accurate picture of the extent of their movements and threat in the village.