Baboon Watch WC and Baboon Matters are hosting a fundraiser to gather funds for the salaries of baboon monitors who look after the CT2 troop in Constantia in Cape Town. The event will be at La Parada at Constantia Nek in Cape Town on 15 September, 2023.

The fun-filled evening includes live music by Ant, plus lots of spot prizes. These include meal vouchers, spa vouchers, cash prizes and more. Raffle tickets are available at the door. The draw happens at 7pm.

Booking is essential: WhatsApp your details to 083 409 3585. R150 per person.

Baboon Watch WC

The background

The City of Cape Town (CoCT) has paid service providers to manage 11 troops of baboons for the past 14 years. The CT2 troop of Constantia troops was always included as one of the managed troops. In 2021 the CT2 troop started to expand their home range from the Vlakkenberg range into Cecelia Forest, a move that had been anticipated by the researchers who advise the CoCT on the management of the baboons. The service provider working at that time made provisions for rangers to continue managing the troop. However, in April 2022 the CoCT withdrew rangers from the troop stating that they did not manage baboons “in that area” and that the rangers were not successful in that terrain.

With no rangers to mitigate conflicts and keep both baboons and residents safe, the troop was left to their own devices and started to obtain easily available foods from human-occupied space, including homes. Residents were unprepared for the ongoing incursions of baboons into their homes and properties, and as a result of fear and frustration started “taking matters into their own hands”, using paintball guns, pellet guns and high calibre weapons against the baboons.

One baboon died after being shot, one was knocked over by a vehicle, one disappeared, and several have what appear to be bullet or pellet injuries.

Baboon Matters Cape Town

Community intervention

Members of the Tokai Baboon Action Group and Baboon Watch WC started daily shifts, standing guard to warn motorists of the nearby baboons in an effort to prevent serious traffic accidents.  These organisations also raised money for two previously unemployed men to assist with the monitoring.

The volunteers were amazing and covered daylight hours, in all weather conditions, for over six months; however, the continual stress of baboons in danger on the roads, being shot at, injured and killed was overwhelming and so Baboon Matters offered help to see if we could fund monitors to keep the troop off the roads and out of houses whilst the authorities resolved long outstanding issues.

Their first team of monitors came from the local community and were all employed as baboon rangers at a nearby vineyard; they were working with the CT2 troop on days off to supplement their income. Their knowledge of baboons and the area was invaluable, but it proved impossible to work in two high-energy jobs at the same time.

Baboon Matters brought in their most experienced ranger, Mzukisi Nkewu, to help set up two teams of monitors. The monitors do not use paintball guns or aversion tools but rely on understanding the baboons and strategizing how best to redirect the troop to areas where they will have plenty of food and water and will be safe from traffic and shooters.

Success of this interim project:

Since these two teams started in December 2022, the number of incursions into homes has dropped significantly. The baboons do continue to traverse properties to get from areas such as De Hel across Rhodes Drive and into Cecelia Forest, and they do utilize the copious fruits grown in this area, including the grapes on the Constantia Glen vineyards. However, they are under the constant supervision of the monitor teams and when they cross the busy roads the monitors provide clear warnings to the traffic.

The project is aware that (at least) five residents continue to shoot at the baboons, so all necessary affidavits, reports and chargers have been laid with SA Police and relevant authorities. The combined efforts of all groups (TBAG, Baboon Watch WC, Baboons of the South and Baboon Matters Trust) have created a high level of awareness for the project and we have funded radios, basic uniforms and awareness equipment. However, funding has run out; without the necessary funding, this intervention will come to an end – leaving the baboons with no protection at all from the various hazards they face on a daily basis.

So go and support their fundraising event on 15 September so that they can raise much-needed funds to help keep the baboons and residents safe.

What: Baboon Matters Fundraiser La Parada
When: 15 September 2023
Where: La Parada Constantia Nek Cape Town