Residents of Constantia in Cape Town have been warned to get ready for a big baboon invasion after the City announced that there will no longer be a baboon management programme. The decision comes after animal rights groups lobbied against the programme and the mistreatment of baboons who have for many years been forcefully removed from the area.
While the decision has been welcomed by animal rights activists, residents in the area have expressed concern over their safety and the safety of their properties and pets.
Constantia is facing a future filled with baboons
Constantia residents are up in arms over the news that The City of Cape Town will no longer be forking out funds to control the population of baboons in the area.
According to reports, the City announced that it will be abandoning its urban baboon management programme in July next year.
Emile Langenhoven, a ward councillor in the area, addressed a letter to a resident this week:
“It has been made clear to us that baboon management is not the mandate of the City and no further resources will be assigned. In fact, the baboon management programme will come to an end in July 2023,” according to News24.
Speaking at a public meeting of the Invasive Species Forum, in Cape Town earlier this month, Kay Montgomery, the City’s public relations official for the baboon management programme, confirmed that the programme cost taxpayers R100 million over the last twelve years is coming to an end because “it hasn’t worked” and is not the City’s mandate
“The old thinking of shooting them and getting rid of them, and making them go out of the suburb hasn’t worked – we must accept that and move into a new era,” she said, much to the annoyance of animal rights activists who slammed her choice of words.
Residents are not impressed
The news was not well received by Constantia residents who say they have already had altercations with baboons. One resident claims she has had to wrestle with a baboon while others said damage to their properties has also been done.
Gordon Chunnett, from the Constantia Ratepayers and Residents Association, said that residents’ lives and homes and safety are at risk.
“Even through the middle of summer you don’t open any windows to get fresh air because you may find a baboon sitting on your bed in the morning,” said Robert de Vos, 75, who has a view over much of the dockyard and harbour.
“I see the baboons rampaging through the dockyard, climbing up three floors of navy barracks brick wall to get in. They are now breaking into homes which have burglar bars and electric fences, the lot,” another resident told TimeLive.
Meanwhile, 2OceansVibe reports that one restaurant owner has also been subjected to biscuit and banana stealing baboons on a regular basis.