The outdated thinking of the above entities, whereby animals are held accountable for human mismanagement, is utterly absurd. People need to be educated and held responsible for their actions. This management strategy is not working: to date, at least 13 protected Cape Chacma baboons have been killed, to no effect. Where will they draw the line? At 20 dead baboons? 40?
This is clearly a matter of managing people, rather than managing baboons. Until people modify their habits and behaviour, these baboons will continue to raid urban settlements in pursuit of easily obtainable, high calorie food sources.
Implement fines for non-compliance with baboon proofing refuse and dwellings and a mandatory management tax for people living in these often affluent areas on the boundaries of National Parks. These funds can then be used to circumvent baboon-human interactions and resulting conflicts. In fact, there is a plethora of humane and sustainable options which have been totally ignored by the authorities. By 2012, the budget for managing the baboon monitors (who herd troops away from urban settlements) had increased from R1 million to almost R10 million, yet despite this huge financial increase, a management decision was made to reduce the numbers of small fission troops across the peninsula – and thereby reduce the overall project costs.
We, the public, deserve to be involved in the management of our natural heritage. We do not approve of these entities, entrusted with the protection of such resources, hiding behind smokescreens and PR spin doctors while they kill our wildlife in secret.
We, the public, will no longer be ignored overruled without due consideration.
This is our heritage too, and we have a say.