After some lengthy delays and consideration, a Facebook page has been established, with the objective of circulating relevant information, receiving reports and recording events involving the baboons in Hermanus.
Regrettably, after more than five years without baboon monitors, the Voëlklip troop has become habituated to suburbia, to such an alarming extent that aggressive behaviour towards humans and domestic pets has replaced the natural instinct of fear and caution.
The baboons have caused enormous damage to homes, and the elderly and young families now live in fear, barred and trapped inside their homes, windows seldom open.
After numerous discussions, appeals and petitions from over 450 residents in the most affected areas, the community remains under siege. Affidavits from persons attacked by baboons, domestic pets being terrorised, photos of home invasions, injuries to elderly residents who try to escape or lock doors, amount to a significantly compromised community.
The Fernkloof Nature Reserve extends to over 16km² and alongside, Vogelgat, another expansive area of pristine reserve is abundant with the food baboons should be foraging. There is no reason why these primates should not be encouraged back to the reserve, if it is not too late. At least five new generations of baboons in the Voëlklip troop have been habituated to suburbia and are familiar with humans and human food, and have no instinctive fear of traffic either, since the withdrawal of the monitors by the Municipality.
The page also aims to actively campaign for the urgent re-introduction of the monitors, and to add support for the introduction of proper training by experienced specialists in the field of baboon management, such as Human Wildlife Solutions.
I am not qualified to offer scientific advice, but I am passionate about returning the baboons to their natural habitat, and I do believe that by spreading information, the community will be enabled to sort this out.
If you would like to comment or add photographic records, please do so, by including the date, time and place of the event or incident.
Please forward the link to those who may wish to participate in bringing back the monitors and sending the baboons back to the safe sanctuary of the reserve.
Visit our Facebook page at fb.me/hermanusbaboons and send messages to m.me/hermanusbaboons.