When the Constantia Bulletin broke the news on 4 July 2018 that Cape Nature had issued permits to two vineyards to hunt up to two baboons per day, there was shock and confusion - confusion as we had always believed that the Cape peninsula baboons were protected from hunting,  and shock that permits issued for one year would allow 2 baboons per day to be hunted. But more than that, there was outrage that right here in our own backyards baboons were being killed by commissioned professional hunters.
Following on from a well-attended protest action and as a result of letters of demand issued by the Cape Party, Buitenverwachting voluntarily withdrew its permits, and we are told that subsequently Klein Constantia has also withdrawn their permit.
In the ensuing weeks there has been a great deal of activity but the overall situation reflects a lack of information and what seems to be a steadily increasing number of unaccounted for baboons.

Here is what we know:
When the story broke it was reported that 7 baboons had been killed and that the elderly and weak had been targeted to emulate predation.  Secondary media articles noted that specific damage causing baboons had been targeted, and from communications it seems that a semi-paralyzed male, and elderly female and an “injured” baboon had been identified as “problem” baboons and were some of the seven baboons killed.  It is not clear if baboons were being targeted as “damage causing” or to reduce overall numbers.

Read full article here ...
Since 2015 the number of adult males in Cape Town's Northern troops has been decimated from 31 to just 7, with no males left at all in the Constantia troops.  If population control is the aim there are better, more humane and less disruptive ways of doing it!  (Data from HWS Annual Report 2018)
The recent furor surrounding the issuance of permits that allowed professional hunters to kill baboons on two Constantia vineyards has highlighted the biggest problem with baboon management on the Cape peninsula – that there is no management plan for this isolated population of chacma baboons.
It has been interesting to note that, typically, when issues to do with baboons arise, the City of Cape Town immediately issues a media release on behalf of the Baboon Technical Team, a “co-operative” arrangement between role players of the City of Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park and Cape Nature who are guided by scientific input from the Baboon Research Unit of UCT and by welfare for the baboons from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA). 
However, in the Constantia hunting case, there has been complete silence from the co-operative BTT, effectively leaving Cape Nature to defend the issuance of permits in isolation of overall baboon management on the Cape peninsula.  We have witnessed individual role players actively diving for cover, denying knowledge of the permits or merely reiterating their mandates and roles in an attempt to defer any blame.

Read full article here ...
For 20 years, information boards across Cape Town have warned that baboons are a protected species in the area and that injuring or killing them is punishable by law, yet we are now told that this is not in fact, the case.  It seems the authorities like to "pick and choose" when to apply this.
After 16 years of fighting for the rights of baboons, Baboon Matters faces imminent closure due to lack of funds!  This is an urgent call for financial assistance - please help in any way you can!
Tune into Carte Blanche on M-Net on Sunday 2nd Sept from 7pm, to watch their investigation into the killing of baboons on Constantia Wine Farms.
A resident in Tokai took this video of very unusual behaviour - the entire troop sitting quietly in the road, not moving for cars or people, all their attention focussed in the same direction, at a time of day when they would normally be moving to their sleep site.  Perhaps they were aware of something happening to their Constantia neighbours, and in their own way offering a moments' silence.
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Baboon Matters · PO Box 48189 · Kommetjie · Cape Town, Wc 7976 · South Africa

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