City goes to court to defend baboon policy

SK11, otherwise known as Kataza, inthe surrounds of the Tokai troop.

The City of Cape Town says it will oppose a court bid to reverse its decision to relocate a raiding male baboon.

The City was notified of animal activist Ryno Engelbrecht’s application to the Western Cape High Court on Monday, October 5.

Mr Englebrecht wants the court to review and set aside the City’s decision to relocate the baboon, colloquially known as Kataza, from Kommetjie to Tokai.

Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment said the decision to oppose the court application was “in the best interest of Kataza and all other baboons whose natural

habitat is the mountains adjacent to urban areas in the Cape Peninsula”.

The baboon needed space to integrate with the Tokai troop in its own time, she said.

Residents had been following the animal since its relocation and the City was concerned about that human interference and appealed to the public to refrain from following or feeding Kataza, she said.

The baboon’s integration into the Tokai troop was being carefully monitored, she said.

On Saturday October 10, Kataza was in a fight with another male baboon from the Tokai troop.

“Fighting between baboons is normal behaviour in determining dominance and is part of the process of being accepted into a new troop.

“At this point in time, no intervention is required as determined by the guidelines for dispersing male baboons in urban areas in the Cape Peninsula,” Ms Nieuwoudt said.

The City’s baboon programme, introduced in 2009, had been successful in limiting baboon incursions into urban areas, she said. The programme was meant to limit interaction between humans and baboons; keep baboons out of urban areas, where they faced many dangers; and ensure the safety and welfare of residents and baboons alike.

Mr Engelbrecht said he had expected the City’s reaction and was prepared.