Baboons are part of our heritage

A picture of the Slangkop baboons taken by Joshua Wynne.

Joshua Wynne, 11, Kommetjie

Baboons are beautiful, although we might not all see that.

They play a big part in Kommetjie’s natural heritage, which means they are our heritage and our responsibility to take care of. When you move to Kommetjie, you move in with the baboons, into their territory.

They are part of Kommetjie, if you have a problem with that, then Kommetjie isn’t right for you. They only come for the food, not for the violence.

NCC Environmental Services, the City of Cape Town’s service provider for the urban baboon programme, and concerned residents of Kommetjie are working endlessly to guide the baboons through the village and back onto the mountain because their natural habitat is on the mountain.

Not only that, but they also watch over them to see they are alright. Some residents of Kommetjie are shooting at them or are trying to harm them, so without the baboon monitors our baboons would be in serious danger.

If you have chosen to harm baboons, then just a friendly reminder, it is not only highly illegal to use any weapons on the baboons (or any other wild animals) but it is also very dangerous for your neighbours if you miss.

So please don’t threaten the baboons. If you have a problem with the baboons, please bring it up with a baboon monitor close by. They will be happy to help you solve your problem. Please do not resort to violence.

I may only be 11-years old, but I want our baboons to last for longer than my life. So if you can’t help to look after our baboons for yourself, then do it for your children and your grandchildren so they can too have the privilege of wild baboons visiting their gardens.

So that they too can be proud of their natural heritage like I am. Many people have only just moved in to Kommetjie, so I have added some tips and information on living with baboons.

• Primates show their teeth as a symbol of fear or submission, it’s also to show that you need to back off.

• Close windows/doors when the baboons are near by.

• Baboon proof your bins.

• Plant only indigenous plants in your garden.

• Enclose vegetable gardens/compost heaps.

• Use water guns and/or hose pipes to encourage baboons to move on.

• Keep your dog in your property and unable to reach the baboons.

• Keep calm and confident when dealing with baboons.

• Do not feed baboons.

• Do not come within 10 metres of baboons.

• D not put seed/food out for birds/other animals.

• Do not try to retrieve/fight over food with baboons.

• Do not use any weapons on the baboons.