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Lone Ranger tasered in Betty’s

A Betty’s Bay woman laid a complaint against her neighbour for allegedly tasering a baboon.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being targeted, says her neighbour also threatened her with the taser.

The resident says she saw the baboon known as ‘Lone Ranger’ being tasered last week Wednesday by her neighbour. When she told the neighbour that it was against the law, her neighbour allegedly aimed the taser gun in her direction and fired off a shot. The resident, however, stood too far and the taser missed her.

The residents says she heard a disturbance at a neighbour’s house and a couple of minutes later she noticed the loud distress cries of a baboon.

“When I entered my garden I could clearly see a large baboon crouched on the ground while it was clinging to the outside wall of my neighbour’s house. I recognised him as the much loved solitary male baboon known as ‘Lone Ranger’ frequently seen at Betty’s Bay,” says the woman.

She further explained that the baboon is not aggressive but passive and responds well when requested to leave one’s property in a non-violent manner.

“As I watched, my neighbour continued to fire a taser at the baboon in spite of the fact that he (Lone Ranger) was already paralised and could not escape. The effects of a stun gun on the body is known, it renders the victim immobile; disorientated and confused. The victim will be unable to recover for several minutes and the affects can last for 10 to 15 minutes. These devices are made for self defence and can cause bodily harm,” says the woman.

She called over to her neighbour, who was holding the taser, to inform her that baboons are protected by law and may not be harmed in any way. “I also told the neighbour that non-violent measures are expected to be used as deterrents.”

What shocked the woman the most was when her neighbour turned to her and aimed the stun gun towards her and fired it at her.

When questioned by Hermanus Times, the neighbour in question’s husband denied that the incident took place and said he is not aware of such an incident.

Renée Bish of the Betty’s Bay Baboon Action Group says that there are many issues to this story.

“Firstly we denounce it as an abhorrent act of cruelty. With regard to cruelty inflicted on a baboon (by Tazer, pellet gun, paintball gun or otherwise), it is illegal and there is already in motion a many-pronged follow-up to bring the perpetrator to account. The particular baboon in question is locally know by Betty’s Bay residents, is generally liked, non-aggressive and well tolerated,” says Bish.

“We believe that, in baboon related issues, at least here in Betty’s Bay, the silent majority of residents are already baboon friendly and enjoy the privilege of being able to watch such amazing animals at close quarters - one of the many reasons they chose to live here in the first place. The minority are those who shout loudest but should not be rewarded for their negative influence on the community at large.” She also explained that there is a continuing general call for solutions such as baboon monitors. “It should be remembered and understood that between the troop in the Silvers Sands area of Betty’s Bay to the Betty’s Bay/Kleinmond troop (the same 18 individuals) our baboons splinter and coalesce repeatedly and cover an extraordinarily large territory of at least 15 kilometers. They cannot effectively be monitored in the same manner as the Pringle Bay, Rooi Els or Hermanus troops. Yet, despite our greater numbers, our specific area received no funding from the Overstrand Municipality for baboons whereas Pringle Bay and Hermanus did,” concludes Bish.

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