No dogs will be allowed in the Park Island section of the Zandvlei Nature Reserve effective immediately until January 1, 2021. This comes after a dog hunted and killed a juvenile Cape grysbok on Monday morning, [November 9].

According to the City of Cape Town, the dog was not kept on a leash, which is a contravention of the reserve rules.

“This could have been avoided had the owner kept the dog on a leash. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident of visitors disregarding the rules of the reserve and Park Island. As such, we decided to close this section to dogs to allow the fauna on the island to recover and to prevent further damage to the sensitive faunal populations,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

Park Island is home to the Cape clawless otter, water mongoose, Cape grysbok, small grey mongoose, the angulate tortoise, snakes, and the western leopard toad.

The incident is being investigated. Park Island will be open to dogs again from January 1, 2021. The public will be duly informed and the situation will be closely monitored.

“Our nature reserves are there for the enjoyment and use by the public, but I want to remind all that upon entering, visitors agree to abide by the rules. Dog-walking in Park Island has been allowed by the Reserve Manager and the area is very popular,” added Alderman Nieuwoudt.

“It is sad that some dog owners cannot control their pets and that we had to take this drastic step. The ban applies to Park Island only, however, we want to urge visitors to Wildwood Island to please keep their dogs on a leash.”

All are reminded that non-compliance constitutes an offence under the regulations of the National Environmental Management Protected Areas Act. Last month Council approved the Nature Reserves By-law.

Once promulgated, the by-law will allow the City to improve efficiency, and to enforce these regulations through the municipal court system and the issuing of compliance notices.

Picture: Pexels

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