NCC Environmental Services successfully rescued a juvenile baboon from a snare trap. Last week, they were notified about the imperilled animal after a cyclist spotted the baboon with a wire around its neck in the mountains above Constantia.
“The likelihood of catching sight of this baboon in need of assistance would have been quite low without the keen eye and swift alert from the concerned cyclist,” wrote Joselyn Mormile, who is part of the NCC’s Urban Baboon Programme.
The Mountain Troop, which the snared baboon belongs to, spends majority of their time away from the urban edge and therefore does not have a permanent NCC ranger team assigned to look out for them.
Once they were aware of the baboon’s predicament, the NCC dispatched a team to assess the situation and discovered the juvenile with a tight wire wound around her neck.
“She was with the troop, foraging and moving well, but the wire required urgent removal,” said Mormile.
The next morning the baboon was safely captured in a joint operation by a veterinarian, NCC and baboon rangers from Buitenverwachting.
She was then anaesthetised and the wire was removed – it was at this point that authorities confirmed that the wire was a snare.
Rescuing a juvenile baboon from a snare
Last week while cycling in the mountains above Constantia, a member of the…
“The snare had been in place for a short period of time and aside from some facial swelling had not yet caused any significant damage,” said Mormile. After cursory health checks, the baboon was returned to her troop later that day.
NCC is unaware of where the snare was set, as the baboon’s troop moves between Porter Estate and Donkerboskloof in the Constantia area.
There has been a dramatic increase in snaring in the peninsula, according to NCC. They explain that snaring is an illegal hunting method used to catch food – such as guinea fowl and porcupine. Snares, however, are indiscriminate and can lead to the maiming and killing of many other species of wildlife besides the intended targets.
“Just since the start of NCC’s contract in October, we have had three incidents involving snared baboons,” said Mormile.
“The previous two baboons were unfortunately not as lucky and were discovered after agonising deaths.”
NCC encourages the public to keep an eye out for snares or any loose wires when they are enjoying a walk or hike in the mountains.
If you do spot a snare, capture a photograph of it and make note of the location, preferably with a GPS pin, before removing it and reporting it to NCC, who will notify the relevant authorities.
If you spot a baboon, or any wild animal caught in a snare, call the NCC’s hotline at 071 588 6540.
Picture: Facebook/Joselyn Mormile – NCC Environmental Services