The wonderful thing of living on the urban edge is being able to enjoy nature in all its splendour. Unfortunately, that also means dealing with problem animals such as baboons.
Baboon activity in residential areas increases from about June to August as food in the veld and forests decline in winter, and local baboon populations come in search of other sources of sustenance.
While baboons can even stroll into town on occasion, persons living near the urban edge are most likely to be affected, and therefore a special request to them to heed the following advice:
Warn your neighbours when baboons are in the vicinity.
- When baboons enter the urban edge, report it to Knysna Municipality by contacting 044 302 6551 during office hours and 044 302 8911 after hours.
- Keep doors locked and windows closed when baboons are in the vicinity.
- Install night bolts on sliding doors to prevent baboons from lifting them off their tracks.
- Install latches on the opening edge of windows, particularly top-hung ones, so that baboons cannot pull the frame and break the glass.
- Install burglar bars on windows you usually keep open. Keep in mind that nowhere there should be more than an 8cm gap to ensure that even the babies stay out.
- Baboon-proof your rubbish by placing it inside a caged area, lockable bin or inside in the garage.
- Do not have food on display where it can be seen.
- Do not leave pet food outside or feed pets outside.
- Do not put seed out for wild birds.
- Do not plant fruit trees, vegetable gardens or make compost heaps unless they are situated inside a locked caged area or surrounded by electric fencing.
- Plant indigenous as baboons love exotic plants.
- NEVER feed baboons. They will return to your property again and again.
If confronted by a baboon
- In your garden or house, stand still and remain calm. Sudden movements will make it act defensively.
- Back away slowly and do not block its escape route.
- Be determined, decisive and confident when driving a baboon off.
- Spray the baboon with a strong stream of water as they hate water. Have a water pistol in the house and a hose pipe ready in the garden.
- Keep pets out of the way.
- Do not try to snatch back anything from a baboon – it will fight to hold on to food.
- Do not threaten infants and juveniles as adults, in particularly the alpha male, will protect them with aggression if necessary.
REPORT BABOONS ENTERING AN URBAN AREA BY CONTACTING: 044 302 6551 OR 044 302 8911 (after hours).