During assessments after the Ocean View Fire, baboon rangers spotted two juvenile baboons from the Da Gama Troop with burn wounds.
The juvenile with the limp was looking much better today (17 January 2017) and was seen climbing rocks. A female juvenile with the burn wounds are her hand was still riding jockey on her mom's back. Both were feeding well.
These two baboons are being monitored daily in the field by a team that includes City of Cape Town veterinarian. The assessment is that removing the juvenile baboons from their mothers and the troop should only be done if it is seen that the baboon is not coping and should be regarded as a last resort.
The team assessing the situation has indicated that past experience has shown that the juveniles have a good chance of healing and remaining wild baboons if humans do not interfere.
If the juveniles are removed, the wounds may take more than five days to heal. There is every possibility that after this time the juveniles will be 'un-releasable’ as they are still very young and will become habituated very easily.
The juvenile baboon with a burnt hand is currently being protected by the alpha male of the Da Gama Troop and her mother.
Removing the juvenile from these large baboons will be very difficult and potentially dangerous, if even possible at all.
"So we have to be very sure that interfering is the right thing to do before embarking on this strategy", says Julia Wood, Biodiversity Management, City of Cape Town.
"At this stage, we are continuing to monitor the situation with trained veterinarian professionals. We will be joined by a team from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA tomorrow (18 January, 2017)", she adds.