The relocation of Kataza, also known as SK11, from his Slangkop troop in Kommetjie, to Tokai, has cast the spotlight on baboon management in the region.
Locals have been protesting against his removal for weeks, staging protests and garnering loads of support on social media under the hashtag #BringKatazaBack.
Many animal organisations have added their voice to the relocation, saying it is cruel, and that Kataza spends most of his time alone.
But now the City says people are interfering with the baboon, even feeding him, and that he is actually busy integrating into his new Tokai troop.
Here is a statement from the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt:
According to the latest update, SK11 is in Tokai, behaving like a dispersing adult male baboon and it appears that he is slowly integrating into the Tokai Troop.
On Tuesday 22 September, SK11 was examined by a veterinarian and behavioural ecologist specialising in primates, who reported that he was in good condition with a shiny unmated coat. In the mornings, he usually follows the Tokai troop to where they are foraging, keeping on the edge, while observing the troop and making friendly signs like lip smacking and pulling his ears back.
After a while, curious young baboons approach him with similar friendly lip smacking and greetings. This is normal behaviour for a male baboon joining a troop. Being accepted can take weeks to months and it is best for SK11 to be left alone and not followed by humans. SK11 needs to interact with other baboons in his own time. This is very important as the current service provider, HWS, is trying to keep him out of the urban area so that he is safe and does not raid.
SK11, however, is being harassed by individuals who are interfering. Over the weekend, video footage showed individuals feeding him.
‘Feeding a wild animal is not only illegal, but detrimental as human-derived food is unhealthy for baboons and will result in an increase in raiding behaviour. As such, we have asked CapeNature to examine the video footage for possible legal action.’
The City of Cape Town strongly requests that SK11 be left alone, not harassed and under no circumstances be fed.
Residents in the vicinity of Tokai Park are advised to follow the guidelines below, should SK11 enter their property:
• Lock all doors and secure all windows
• Put away all food sources
• Identify the baboon’s escape route and make sure that its path is clear
• Back away slowly if the baboon is near you
• Keep pets out of the way
• Contact the Baboon Hotline on 071 588 6540
The Urban Baboon Programme aims:
· to keep baboons out of urban areas to reduce conflict between humans and baboons;
· to stop all activities that previously brought people into close contact with baboons;
· to support the policing and law enforcement of all national, provincial and local laws relating to the protection of wild animals; and
· to consult regularly with baboon experts.
The City of Cape Town’s Baboon Programme has, since 2006 to date, recorded an increase of 80% in the Cape Peninsula’s baboon population, excluding the troops inside Cape Point National Park. This affirms the success of a programme that is being replicated by countries around the world.
The number of baboons has increased from 248 in 2006 to 445 today. This is an increase of 197 baboons within 14 years and is equivalent to six new troops with an average of 30 baboons living alongside our suburbs.
The increase in the baboon population affirms the City’s approach in allocating resources to prevent baboons from entering urban areas as far as possible.
The City’s Urban Baboon Programme is internationally recognised and countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia are replicating the programme’s methodology.
PICS: @BringBackKataza Facebook page /Baboon Matters