HWS: Paintball guns used against baboons are meant to be painful, most effective
HWS was appointed by the City of Cape Town to manage Peninsula baboon troops and has been doing so for eight years.
HWS has recently come under fire for the removal of Kataza, a young baboon from Slangkop near Kommetjie.
The contractor has also been accused of aggressive, painful, and militaristic practices.
HWS project manager Philip Richardson says a number of stakeholders, including the City, SANParks, CapeNature and the NSPCA, decided on the use of paintball markers in 2012.
He says paintball markers are the most effective deterrent at their disposal.
HWS also uses bear bangers and virtual fencing to keep baboons away.
Richardson says many of his colleagues are opposed to the idea of 'compassionate conservation' which he says doesn't take into account the bigger picture.
Paintballing is the number one mechanism... It's painful, and it's supposed to be painful... and it's incredibly successful.Philip Richardson, Project Manager - Human Wildlife Solutions
Before HWS and before paintball markers started, baboons were kept out of town for an average of 70% of the time.Philip Richardson, Project Manager - Human Wildlife Solutions
Since the month we started, we've had baboons out of town over 98% of the time.Philip Richardson, Project Manager - Human Wildlife Solutions
Quite frankly a lot of us are very anti compassionate conservation which thinks about the individual [animal] and forgets about the rest of the troop.Philip Richardson, Project Manager - Human Wildlife Solutions
If you need to have a military tactic to keep baboons out of town, it's worth doing, rather than subjecting those baboons to those pains [of getting hit by cars or mauled by dogs and other human-induced deaths].Philip Richardson, Project Manager - Human Wildlife Solutions
Listen to Philip Richardson in conversation with John Maytham:
Source : https://www.123rf.com/photo_124807237_man-in-camouflage-suit-stands-against-the-paintball-area-with-his-paintball-gun-up-and-looks-straigh.html