Locals in favour of protecting the Cape’s baboons are devastated following the killing of a well-known male affectionately nicknamed ‘Johnny Bravo’ in Simon’s Town.
Johnny Bravo was reportedly killed under the terms of the Baboon Management Raiding Guidelines, and members of the community captured his last moments as he sat bleeding and injured on the roof of a home in Simon’s Town yesterday.
According to the Baboons Of The South Facebook page, Johnny was attempting to move from the Smitswinkel Bay baboon troop to the Waterfall troop when he was attacked by an alpha male.
Johnny had a visible wound on his arm and blood could be seen seeping into his fur.
“At a certain age male baboon disperses from his natal troop to try and join another troop to create his own offspring. The journey is a precarious one across unfamiliar and sometimes hostile urban spaces. During this time the baboons is under huge stress, alone and vulnerable. The dispersing male does not always survive this journey. If you should see a lone male give him a wide berth and let him pass as his predicament may result in stress induced unpredictable behaviour. Keep your properties secure so the baboon is not tempted to raid,” says The Baboons of The South.
This process is a natural part of their lives and cannot be held against them.
Following the attack, Johnny was captured and killed, becoming the fifth baboon killed in this area in the last three months.
Locals are frustrated by the guidelines in place to deal with issues that come about from the intermingling of baboons and humans due to urbanisation, as they do not solve the problem. Instead, they result in the deaths of many baboons and frequently disturb the peace in areas across the Cape as more and more of these animals are killed for simply doing what baboons do.
The Baboons Of The South and Save Scarborough Baboons groups are calling for something to be done about these ineffective and, to many, cruel guidelines, and for baboons to be respected and protected by humans.
“In our opinion there needs to be an immediate moratorium on killing baboons as the guidelines are very harsh given the level of attractants within communities, business and recreational spaces,” said the Baboons of The South group in a Facebook statement.
They are also of the opinion that the guidelines need to be reviewed due to the lack of statistical analysis proving the effectiveness of killing male baboons.
Members of the group are also demanding more communication to relevant communities so that they can take preventative action in the case of active baboons,. They feel the HWS reports are issued too late and more up-to-date and frequent reports are needed to better prepare for baboon-related incidents.
The group is also requesting that a Councillor be appointed to represent specific areas and keep their communities informed, and that fencing be considered as a countermeasure in certain areas.
Locals are also reminded to take responsibility for their possessions and be aware of baboons, as the Cape is their home too.
You can join the Baboons Of The South Facebook group here.
If you would like to sign a petition to stop the killing of Cape Town’s baboons click here.
Pictures: Facebook/Baboons of The South