The rock hyrax – or “dassie” as it is more colloquially known – can be seen in nature across Cape Town. A hiker who was enjoying the sights in the Table Mountain National Park recently uploaded a picture of a dassie eating trash, which has left many outraged.
“If any members of the public witness any wild animal consuming trash we recommend that they report this directly to the relevant wildlife authorities,” Belinda Abrahams, Cape of Goodhope SPCA spokesperson said. “We appeal to the public to please dispose of their rubbish responsibly in the interests of the animals who call these beautiful areas their home.”
Dassies are generally small (up to 550 mm long and 4.5 kg in weight), with a robust body but no tail. The rough coat is brownish-grey with lighter patches above the eyes and a patch of long, black hairs in the centre of the back. The dassie is also considered to be the closest living relative of the largest land mammal, the African elephant, and also of the manatee and dugong.
Many mountain clean-ups have been hosted in recent months, as the problem of litter in Cape Town’s natural landscapes has grown out of control. Recently, a group of paddlers were left shocked at the plastic choking the popular Black River during the 10th annual Peninsula Paddle.
On September 20, 2019 Capetonians and fellow environmentalists around the world took part in the global Climate Strike to raise awareness for the state of the earth and the growing concerns of global warming.
— Paul Blom🧷 (@paulblom) September 20, 2019
Seeing innocent animals fall prey to the laziness and inconsiderate nature of humans littering is one of the biggest concerns for environmentalists and Cape Town residents.
One organisation known to host mountain clean-ups is the University of Cape Town Mountain Club. Working in conjunction with the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, they often host events to keep Cape Town’s main attraction free of litter.
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company marketing manager Collette van Aswegen says locals often bring their own chairs up the mountain, while other items could have been dropped or blown away by the wind, landing below the Twelve Apostles Terrace and the viewing decks facing the city and Camps Bay.
A mountain clean-up is hosted by the club every Human Rights Day, keep en eye on their Facebook page to see when they will host another clean-up.
Picture: Fatima Sait/Facebook