Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What do you call these guys?

Because calling them baboons would be too kind (and cruelly ironic to the victims in this post...).

I've posted about the Southern Cape Town residents' assaults on the Cape Point baboons before. It seems that things are going from bad to worse. From 26 baboons in the troop in May, only 16 remain.

The idiots behind this would no doubt point to the destruction and danger of baboons. I know this first hand, having had a fully grown baboon steal our food off the braai grid when I was a kid!

But there is no excuse. Residents of Kommetjie, Scarborough, Smitswinkel, et al have invaded the baboons' territory, and not the other way around. They would have been aware of the issue when moving into those areas.

Baboon watchers have been employed to follow the troupes around and keep them out of trouble. That doesn't seem enough - it seems that some people just want them dead.
From Iol

Baboon poisoning may have been deliberate

Melanie Gosling
August 16 2006 at 12:16PM

Two young baboons from the Kommetjie troop in Cape Town have died of suspected poisoning and a third is being treated at a local veterinary clinic.

Although all three animals are wild, they were so ill that they allowed Jenni Trethowan, who runs Baboon Matters, to pick them up and take them to the vet without resistance.

The young male and a young female died at the vet on Monday. Another young female, nicknamed Angelina Ballerina, was taken to the vet on Tuesday and appears to be recovering.

If they were poisoned, it is not known whether the young baboons - the only three juveniles in the troop - ate poison put out for rats, or whether they were deliberately poisoned in the continuing conflict between primates and humans on the Peninsula.

'He was so sick he let me pick him up, and he's a wild animal'

City health officials are due to examine the area where the baboons forage around the rubbish dump, as well as near a bakery in Kommetjie.

Trethowan said on Tuesday she had been alerted to the first sick baboon by the baboon monitors. "The monitors are brilliant. I went out to Ocean View on Monday and was shocked to see the young male. He was bent over with his head down. It was awful. He was so sick he let me pick him up, and he's a wild animal. I put him in the car and took him to the vet.

"While they were treating him, I got another call that there was a sick baboon near the bakery. I rushed there and she was in an even worse state. We took her to the vet as well but both of them died. It's so sad because they are the only three juveniles in that troop."

Trethowan said the troop had been reduced from 26 animals in May to only 16 now.

On Tuesday, the monitors phoned her again after they found yet another sick female.

Fourways vet Hernan Azorin was unable to say conclusively whether the three were poisoned, but found no signs of other sickness except for haemorrhaging, which is consistent with poisoning.

This article was originally published on page 5 of Cape Times on August 16, 2006

UPDATE: The baboons were poisoned using an old banned toxin. Not sure they should have published that - the person who did it will now be sure to dump it.

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