The public is urged to NOT feed baboon troops affected by recent fires.
Baboon rangers, conservation authorities, veterinarians and animal welfare experts have evaluated the situation.
The assessment is that there is plenty of food and water, at this time, for all baboon troops around the city.
Four facts to consider:
(1) The feeding of baboons in a built-up area or public place is prohibited by law.
(2) Feeding baboons will encourage baboons to raid homes.
(3) It is vitally important to encourage baboon troops to continue foraging out of town in the unburnt zones. We need to keep our baboon troops wild and safe.
(4) Following a fire, baboons find it much easier to detect bulbs in the fynbos. This was demonstrated by the Tokai Troop following the March 2015 fires which burnt much of the Tokai plantation.
Below is an initial assessment of the impact of recent fires on baboon troops.
SOUTHERN CAPE PENINSULA
Three of the eleven 'managed baboon troops' on the peninsula were in the vicinity of the Ocean View and Simon's Town Fires (11-12 January 2017).
* Da Gama Troop (55 baboons)
The Da Gama Troop was most impacted by the Ocean View Fire (11 & 12 January, 2017) and it's estimated that 80% of the vegetation in their home range was burnt.
After the fire (13 January, 2017), the troop moved across the burnt zone of vegetation to the south of Kleinplaas Dam where vegetation is unaffected by the fire. In this area, the troop has access to plenty of food and water.
It must also be noted that after the fire, baboon rangers spotted two juvenile baboons in the Da Gama Troop with burn wounds. One has a slight limp, whilst the other has burnt patches on his coat. Both are regarded as relatively minor injuries and a veterinarian is monitoring the situation closely.
* Waterfall Troop (37 baboons)
During the Simon's Town Fire, the Waterfall Troop was moved to an unburnt zone between the Waterfall Barracks and the Admiral’s Waterfall, Simon’s Town.
It is estimated that 30% of the vegetation in the Waterfall Troop’s home range was burnt. No injuries were recorded for the Waterfall Troop and they have good access to food and water at this time.
* Slangkop Troop (39 baboons)
The Ocean View Fire started in the home range of the Slangkop Troop and it is estimated that the fire burnt 40% of the vegetation in their home range.
Prevailing north-westerly winds on the day of the fire blew the flames away from the Slangkop Troop. Baboon rangers moved the troop northwards into the valley above the Kompaniestuin Estate on the Kommetjie Road where they remained safe during the fire.
No injuries were recorded in the Slangkop Troop and they have good access to food and water at this time.
Human Wildlife Solutions (HWS) is the City of Cape Town appointed service provider entrusted with managing 11 of the 17 baboon troops (418 baboons) in the southern Cape Peninsula. The HWS team comprises 63 baboon rangers and 3 area managers.
HWS also manage the Cape Town Baboon Helpline/Hotline. Any baboon-related incidents in the Southern Cape Peninsula can be reported to the Baboon Helpline on 071 588 6540.