Way forward for baboon management

Rosemary Berry, Tokai

Having experienced living with baboons for 25 years in Hermanus, I would like to comment as follows in regards to “Finding a way forward for baboon management” (Constantiaberg Bulletin, September 1).

Hermanus has a similar situation to here in Tokai. The baboons habitat was the mountains which were bordered by public houses. So the baboons would exploit opportunities to raid, steal and destroy houses, bins, gardens, bird feeders etc.

An electric fence was erected to prevent the troop from this destructive scavenging from all the homes bordering the mountains. Very soon the baboons found routes around the electric fence.

This was backed up by monitors who would keep vigil with their binoculars and chase the baboons away from the houses and send them back to their own habitat. However, this only lasted two to three years as the funds ran out to secure their permanent protection.

Surely the most suitable solution is to sterilise/neuter the baboons within the troop as they reach maturity to prevent the troops expanding so rapidly and becoming unmanageable.

This was also handled by trapping individual baboons by darting them and taking them to the vet to be sterilised.

The odd rogue baboon is often a threat to communities and should be euthanised in my opinion. The troop’s alpha male baboon will fight with the rogue baboon and severe injuries occur.

Over and over people quote “But it was their territory before we built our dwellings”. What about all the other animals that lived on the land we have now encroached on? Many varieties of buck, zebra, elephants, leopards etc.

The baboons being the most cunning, innovative, agile and capable animals that can outmanoeuvre our attempts to control their habitat.

I am not suggesting sterilising the alpha male and female nor the mature baboons – not to upset their hierarchy.