In 1998 the Chacma Baboons of the Cape Peninsula gained protective status. This status is now being overlooked with regards to repeat raiders and dispersing males who are trying to leave the peninsula to join troops further inland. The city sprawl prevents them from following their natural route, and as a result they get stuck in the suburbs.The City of Cape Town and Cape Nature Conservation, instead of assisting them in their natural dispersion, or addressing management issues with residents who are responsible for the baboons losing natural habitat and adapting their behavior accordingly, have authorised the killing of these healthy, strong male baboons.
Baboons are a highly adaptive species who in this case have naturally adapted to the human environment forced on them. They are not predators who view humans as a food source but regard humans as another primate species with whom they are competing for resources. Their reputation as “dangerous” is mostly exaggerated due to the many myths that have been perpetuated due to our fears. The media with its reliance on sensationalism all too often plays on this, keeping the public fearful and ignorant of the true facts surrounding this species.
BABOONS AND MEDICAL RESEARCH
In its commitment to upholding high standards of ethics in research, the University of Cape Town decided earlier this year that it will no longer use wild-caught baboons for medical research. Although the university has not been involved in either the trapping or housing of baboons, UCT made the commitment to purchase baboons that were intended for research purposes and to send them to the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education (CARE), to whom financial assistance has been given for the building of a sanctuary to house the baboons.
All baboons were tested for TB and other infectious diseases before they could be considered for relocation to the sanctuary and all were given the all-clear.
BWC has agreed to cover the feeding costs of the baboons over the next 5 years, which translates into many thousands of Rands monthly. To this end, BWC needs your financial support to accomplish this. Please send your donation today to Beauty without Cruelty | Standard Bank – Branch: 025109 – Savings Acc: 077 491 645 077 491 645. Please include a ‘B’ in your reference line to ensure your donation goes directly to the care of these fragile animals.