[imagesource: Baboon Matters / Facebook]
That fine-looking specimen above is Kataza, a male baboon who, until very recently, was a member of a popular troop that roams the Southern Peninsula.
In particular, Kataza and the troop were commonly seen in and around Kommetjie, although sightings of Kataza suddenly ceased from last Tuesday.
News24 reports that the City of Cape Town’s baboon management team, Human and Wildlife Solutions (HWS), applied to euthanise him in July, but appear to have decided to remove him from his troop.
After the uproar and anger around the City of Cape Town’s decision to euthanise Twiggy, another baboon, and her daughter in May, it is perhaps no surprise that Kataza has been spared a similar fate, at least for now.
The City confirmed that they held Kataza for a few days, before releasing him in Tokai, with angry residents comparing his removal to a kidnapping.
This video was posted on Saturday, with the description:
This baboon has no understanding of where he is or why he is there – he did NOT choose to disperse, he was forced to leave his troop and make his way. How long will he be given to find his way in this new, bewildering, enivironment?
The picture right up top above was posted yesterday, when Kataza was spotted in Groot Constantia.
Some of what that post says below:
People in Constantia [are] hearing Kataza calling for his troop…People in Kommetjie hearing Kataza’s troop calling for him.
Kataza remains totally alone, nowhere near other baboons. He is visibly and obviously very stressed and anxious and hungry. Kataza is in unfamiliar terrain, not just unfamiliar territory…
Kataza doesn’t know how to survive like this. He does not even know where to sleep safely.
He is trying to find his way back to his home troop and territory with the uncomfortable collar tracking his every move, and an ear tag across his ear irritating his sensitive hearing. He is dealing with more traffic and busy roads than he has ever known.
He is being shot with paintballs. He has had rocks thrown at him. He has been dumped in an area where wine farms have a history of shooting large numbers of baboons even in their sleeping places.
A petition has now been started, Take Kataza back home, with the aim of reaching 7 500 signatures.
As news of the baboon’s plight spread, CapeTalk began to receive numerous calls and messages.
Here are some of those from Refilwe Moloto’s show:
As Baboon Matters points out, a “baboon troop is a complex and fascinating hierarchy”, and removing one member has ramifications that go far beyond that single individual.
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