Parkscape South Africa has made a plea to all dog-walkers to ensure that their furry companions refrain from harassing any wildlife on their adventures.
This comes after the team witnessed a Jack Russell harassing a tortoise, while the owner stood by and made no attempt to stop the dog’s behaviour. Thankfully, one of the honorary rangers saved the tortoise.
“Worryingly, however, we were sent photos yesterday evening of a small tortoise in the plantation. Whether this is the same tortoise or a different one isn’t clear (it looks similar), but tortoises are unlikely to come out of fynbos and into the plantation by themselves,” says Parkscape SA.
The fact that a tortoise has somehow turned up in the same plantation raises a serious concern for the rangers, including the animal’s chances of survival.
It may sound obvious to many people but here’s what you need to know:
- The Lower Tokai core conservation site is part of Table Mountain National Park.
- The Lower Tokai plantation is managed by SANParks.
- You may not disturb flora or fauna in a national park or protected area.
- If you are a dogwalker, your dogs may not dig up, chase, harass or kill wildlife.
- The onus is on you as owner or dogwalker to ensure this doesn’t happen.
- You are at risk of being fined if you fail to take action.
- If you are unable to prevent your dog(s) from harming or harassing wildlife (birds, animals, reptiles, insects) while off-leash, you are required to leash your dogs to prevent them from doing so.
- If your dogs want to dig and chase and retrieve, then they need to do that in your garden.
- You may not take wildlife home as a “pet”.
“Having dogs off-leash in parts of Table Mountain National Park, including Lower Tokai, is a hard-won privilege, as fought for by Friends of the Dog Walkers – FDW. Please be respectful of that privilege and do not jeopardise it. Please ensure your dogs are under control at all times. Thank you!,” concludes Parkscape SA.
Picture/s: Facebook / Parkscape SA