After several months of calm, it's Kommetjie's turn to host the baboons again, and many locals (of the human variety) are not happy. Unfortunately, with an under-resourced management team, rapidly habituating troop members, an untested new relationship between relevant authorities, difficult geography, poor waste management by some residents, several trigger happy residents and a general lack of tolerance, the situation is becoming tense and stressful for the village again.
At the moment civic bodies have not yet been welcomed onto the City, Cape Nature, and San Parks co-management group, but this is being dealt with through the channels that exist, though not as fast as we would like.
At least the City (belatedly) renewed the NCC contract that keeps rangers on the ground trying to keep baboons out of urban areas for another year or so, but they have to do so with a budget that makes it hard to succeed.
After years of disagreement the idea of strategically placed fences in the Far South peninsula has been generally accepted and there are indications that the authorities will probably fund these. The longer term maintenance plan still has to be finalised.
Small steps forward have been made. They have been won with much hard, sustained effort by civic associations trying to broker a rational space for decision-making under highly volatile circumstances. The KRRA, while in no way denying the seriousness of the situation, urges residents to be patient and restrain from taking matters into their own hands.
We urge you to:
join a baboon alert group
refrain from all illegal deterrent use (guns of any sort, fire crackers etc)
refrain from harassing or interfering with rangers
secure rubbish bins properly and as far as possible deal with kitchen waste through composting, bokashi or worm farming. NB Businesses have additional responsibility in this regard
drive carefully (a good idea anyway)
avoid fuelling the fire with angry rhetoric
be kind and helpful towards the people employed to get baboons out of the village, welcoming them on your property if necessary
manage pets' behaviour as sensibly as possible when baboons are around
protect vegetable or food crop attractants
strengthen vulnerable parts of your house as you do against crime
keep up to date with baboon management news and contribute as constructively as possible to the solution of human/wildlife conflict issues.