The suburban war being waged against baboons appears to be getting a shot in the arm from City of Cape Town officials while being enabled by a small core of disgruntled Cape Peninsula residents. This 'man versus nature' stance not only threatens the existence of baboons in the area, but also grossly undermines the efforts of environmentalists and the credibility of conservation in the region.
I have been a Councillor Appointed Representative for Baboons (CARBS) in the Scarborough, Cape Town area since the end of 2019. I have attended many CARBS meetings during that time and witnessed the circumstances around some of the more publicly notorious killings and removals of baboons. I am left with certain distressing impressions:
The CARBS system is meaningless -- we have no voice and the public has no voice through us.
The City of Cape Town has no interest in the welfare or survival of baboon troops on the peninsula -- the baboons are nothing more than a financially burdensome nuisance to it.
The various role players -- ward councillors, researchers, representatives from city biodiversity, service providers and baboon researchers -- have no qualms about deliberately misleading the public and CARBS representatives.
The interests of...