The killing of Julius, of the Plateau troop, illustrates again how the City of Cape Town, SANParks, Table Mountain National Park and CapeNature have failed baboons and management of the baboon-human interface.
On 20 July 2022, Baboon Matters, Beauty Without Cruelty SA, Baboons of the South and the Green Group Simon’s Town co-signed and sent a request for a moratorium on killing baboons on the Cape Peninsula to Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy. This request was copied to the executive decision-makers at the City of Cape Town, SANParks, Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and CapeNature.
Given that the minister had just called urgent meetings regarding management of the peninsula baboons – where, among other points, she noted that killing individual males upset the social hierarchy of the troops and should not be allowed – why then did these advocacy groups feel the need for the security of a moratorium to protect baboons when all parties appeared to be committed to “sitting around the table together” and working on (yet another) task team?
Apart from the fact that the authorities have not been able to resolve the issues of legal mandates and responsibilities in the past 20 years, and apart from the fact that the lack of willingness among the three main role-players to cooperate and sign off on the most basic of documents such as a strategic management plan for this isolated population of baboons, there is a long history of a lack of transparency from the authorities and corresponding mistrust from civil society.