FAQ - Baboon Management
FAQ’s regarding Protocols and Guidelines for Raiding Baboons
Q: What processes take place leading up to the euthanasia of a baboon in the southern Cape Peninsula?
A: There is no one single category that either results in a baboon being euthanised (e.g. enter cars with people, raiding occupied houses) or prevents it from being euthanised (e.g. alpha male status). Rather the weight of evidence for and against euthanasia is assessed in its entirety over a period of months or years. Mitigation measures may be implemented for months in an attempt to offer corrective behaviour.
Using this approach the WAC [CapeNature’s Wildlife Advisory Committee] prior to 2018, and the City of Cape Town Baboon Management, after 2018, have both:
(1) Approved the euthanising of individual raiding baboons, and,
(2) Authorised that the baboon are left alone, but that short term management plans be implemented in an attempt to prevent future raiding by an individual baboon.
In 2019, the Protocol for Raiding Baboons (2011) was updated and replaced by the Guidelines for Baboon Management (2019) developed by the City of Cape Town and endorsed by CapeNature.
Q: Will the protocol or guidelines result in the mass culling of baboons?
A: No. The protocols and guidelines are for management of individual baboons that are shown to pose a risk to public health and safety despite attempts to prevent this. The City of Cape Town Guidelines for Baboon Management (2019) are a completely distinct wildlife management tool to culling, which may include the removal of whole populations, troops or particular age/sex classes.
Prior to 1998, culling was a management tool used by conservation authorities on the Cape Peninsula who removed whole troops from Kommetjie, Kalk Bay and Chapmans Peak to reduce or eliminate human-baboon conflict from these regions.
Culling is always the last and least preferred management option for wildlife managers but it remains a necessary tool in any closed population including zoo’s, sanctuaries and closed parks when translocation is not considered to be a viable management option.
Q: What must I do when I am being raided repeatedly by a baboon?
A: Firstly try and determine what it is that is attracting baboons to your property and make every effort to prevent the baboon(s) from gaining further access to this resource. Baboons are attracted to exotic vegetation in gardens including fruit, vegetables and even grasses.
They also like to feed on waste in both rubbish bins and compost heaps. It is thus essential to prevent baboons from accessing these foods on ones properties through the use of electric fencing and appropriate baboon-proofing of waste areas.
Baboons may also enter homes through open windows and doors especially when they can see food on display (e.g. fruit bowls). Reducing access to food will immediately reduce the frequency of visits from raiding baboons.
The authorities do not want any baboons to enter residential areas or raid food at popular outdoor tourist venues and thus all such incursions should be reported to the Baboon Hotline (+27 71 588 6540).
Should a baboon break into your house by forcing windows and doors, take food directly from people in and around houses or cars or attack people who attempt to protect their own food or family then it is essential to record the details (date, time, ID if possible of the baboons, and the details of the incident).
This information should then be relayed to the City of Cape Town baboon management service provider via the Baboon Hotline (+27 71 588 6540) for advice and immediate assistance.
Q: When did the protocol become a guideline?
A: The Guidelines for Baboon Management (2019) in the southern Cape Peninsula were workshop'ed over an extended period (2012 - 2019) by the City of Cape Town with input from representatives of Resident's Associations, Cape of Good Hope SPCA, National SPCA, SANParks, CapeNature and University of Cape Town Baboon Research Unit. The City of Cape Town's Guidelines for Baboon Management (2019) are officially endorsed by CapeNature.
The guidelines have been created for baboon management at the interface of urban edge of the City of Cape Town by baboon rangers. The framework document - that includes topics such as training, management, legislation and occupational health and safety.
The purpose of these guidelines is to mitigate the damage and risk on public safety caused by individual baboons, while encouraging socially responsible behavior by residents in baboon-affected areas.
The guidelines were first released to the public for comment in February, 2018 - following endorsement by CapeNature. Following various drafts, the latest updated guidelines were released in November, 2019.
The guidelines reflect the methodology or thought processes which underlie daily baboon management processes on the interface of the urban edge of the City of Cape Town.