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Hermanus Baboon Action Group meets with mayor

The Hermanus Baboon Action Group (HBAG) met with the mayor, municipal manager and various other departments on Thursday 30 May.

The HBAG advised the mayor of the voluntary groups’ objectives, all associated with re-introducing the baboon monitors to areas most affected by raiding baboons.

The mayor said there was no further progress regarding a mandate from Province, which would enable the Overstrand Municipality to appoint a licensed, qualified service provider to perform baboon management programmes in affected areas.

HBAG emphasised that by ignoring the ongoing dilemma facing hundreds of residents in these areas, the negative impact on tourism, property values, employment opportunities and the safety of residents and the safety of the Voëlklip baboon troop will continue.

Various amounts have been set aside in budgets at various times. However until Overstrand receives a mandate from Province, the mayor advised nothing can be done. The City of Cape Town, after a similar impasse between authorities, resolved to work in a co-operative process with authorities and communities, successfully keeping baboons out of suburbia 98% of the time, assisted by Human Wildlife Solutions, well qualified specialists in resolving baboon/human conflict.

Concerns of the community have escalated in the past two months as the large Voëlklip baboon troop spends more time in suburbia, feeding on human derived foods, smashing plant pots, traumatizing dogs, children and the elderly. Recently, an 18-month-old child was trapped in the kitchen, between her mother and a baboon, at the same time several more baboons entered the only open window in the house. The traumatic experiences of residents are being received daily by HBAG, and are recorded along with the results of an ongoing survey. This evidence will be submitted to the authorities shortly. Visit www.hermanusbaboons.co.za or fb.me/hermanusbaboons for tips or email info@hermanusbaboons.co.za to request a survey form or report an incident.

The HBAG will continue to interact with all available authorities, on behalf of the residents in most affected areas of Hermanus and the Overstrand.

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