The baboons of Tokai in Cape Town, South Africa, appear to be too scared to fall asleep in their normal resting area. Instead – as shown in the video below – it looks like they’re choosing to rather remain exposed on the open road…
As some said, it looks like a peaceful protest… but in fact, the forlorn and frightened baboons are more than likely petrified of being shot in the forest, say concerned local residents.
Baboon Matters Trust (BMT), which is dedicated to the conservation of baboons in South Africa and to their peaceful co-existence with humans, posted the video which they say was filmed by an anxious resident. It shows “unusual troop behaviour”, they said.
Baboon Matters said: “Concerns had been expressed that the troop were all sitting very quietly along the road, not moving away from traffic or to go to their sleep site; people were worried that the reason for the baboons unusual behaviour was that there may have been more hunting in the area.”
One Capetonian commented after watching the footage: “There is definitely something keeping them away! Being the intelligent animals they are, it’s my guess they know exactly who is shooting them and that’s why they are sitting focused and alert, barely turning around to look at you and all facing the same way in the fading light … please don’t tell me more baboons are about to be shot! 😫”
According to a recent article by Karen Watkins in the Constantia Bulletin, two local vineyards have been granted hunting permits to kill up to two baboons per day.
An official report in June by Human Wildlife Solutions claims seven baboon have been killed by permitted hunting, but – according to BMT – it mentions a “shortage of 20 baboons”.
BMT said without any clear statement from the authorities, locals are left speculating and wondering “why such a cover up”?
BMT said on 31 July: “The thought of a “shortage of 20 baboons” and the fact that permitted hunting is reported as “some baboons were removed” is very, very sad – for the baboons and the service provider who are caught in the middle of a massive cover up.”
BMT said the Table Mountain National Park responded to a recent email saying they will get research personnel to count and verify how many baboons have been killed.
“Why have they not done this already?” said BMP in an earlier post, and said an urgent meeting has been requested with relevant groups.
Baboon Matters said after many years of fighting for the protection of baboons, it is “wonderful to see that more and more people are expressing outrage and stating firmly “NO to killing baboons”.”
However it is tragic that this concern comes because of not such wonderful recent developments.
Locals and visitors have heard shooting in the forest. “There is also mention of cages being moved up and down the roads…” said BMT in a post on social media on Wednesday evening.
One social media user said perhaps the cages are for relocating them. “I know that Tokai Forest lease expired this year and those trees will all be chopped down as they are owned by the lease holder, not by the owner of the land. The land was rented as a tree farm and used like that for 15 years. I know the government wants to restore it to a natural Fynbos forest again.”
Some residents had reported the “suspicious” poisoning and felling of trees in the area… proving BMT’s point that a statement from the authorities would help in preventing rumours.
BMT said there is hope for the baboons. “There are so many “eyes and ears” keeping a watch out for the baboons – a huge number of cyclists, hikers, runners and visitors to the area as well as a large number of people employed by the farms, tea rooms, security companies, builders and the authorities. And there are hundreds of residents looking out for the baboons.”
WATCH Baboons sit in middle of the road in Tokai, Cape Town, South Africa
Unusual troop behaviour as it gets dark in Tokai forest Last night anxious residents of Tokai shared video footage taken of the Tokai troop. Concerns had been expressed that the troop were all sitting very quietly along the road, not moving away from traffic or to go to their sleep site; people were worried that the reason for the baboons unusual behavior was that there may have been more hunting in the area.After many years fighting for the protection of baboons, it is wonderful to see that more and more people are expressing outrage and stating firmly “NO to killing baboons”.It has been encouraging to see how many residents and people in Tokai are coming forward with concerns about the baboons. They are speaking about hearing shooting in the forest, comparing when they saw the troops and how many they noticed, there is also mention of cages being moved up and down the roads…There are so many “eyes and ears” keeping a watch out for the baboons – a huge number of cyclists, hikers, runners and visitors to the area as well as a large number of people employed by the farms, tea rooms, security companies, builders and the authorities. And there are hundreds of residents looking out for the baboons.Keep sending what you see. Thank you all for keeping us posted with all your baboon concerns, we will continue to share news on the “missing 20” as and when we receive it.
Posted by Baboon Matters on Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Say NO to killing our baboons in Cape Town AND the rest of South Africa!
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