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HWS monitors paintball 'peacefully foraging' baboons in Hangklip Nature Reserve

13 October 2020 12:40 PM
Tags:
baboons
Baboon management
Paintball guns

Betty's Bay resident describes Human Wildlife Solutions staff behaviour. HWS secured a 3-year contract in Overstrand Municipality.

A resident of Betty's Bay shared her account of Human Wildlife Solutions (HWS) monitors in the Hangklip Nature reserve on Monday. The HWS who recently lost its contract for baboon management in Cape Town secured a three-year contract with the Overberg Municipality.

Numerous CapeTalk listeners have contacted the station over the past weeks reporting HWS misuse of the Baboon Technical Team protocols especially with regard to the use of paintball guns.

Now, HWS is in Betty's Bay and resident Melinda Ridgard took to Facebook to share her story.

HWS had been managing the baboons in Cape Town until the end of September and one CapeTalk listener sent a video taken in September on Price Drive in Constantia.

She says an HWS monitor armed with a paintball gun stood some metres in front of her and fired paintballs in rapid succession at two baboons sitting in a tree.

Listen to the audio in the clip below where HWS rangers can be heard firing paintballs in quick succession. One then yells 'Hallelujah!' And can then be heard saying in Afrikaans 'I hit him from far away. I am a sniper man! Whoooooo.'

The listener who sent the clip noted that what she witnessed appeared to be a sport and a militaristic style of operation rather than what she felt should be in her words a 'shepherding role' towards baboons.

The Baboon Technical Team (BTT) protocol states clearly that '·No more than one or two warning shots are to be fired into the ground in front of any adult.' and 'caution should be used when firing on baboons moving directly toward the operator in order to avoid the risk of hitting the facial region.'

While it is important to find the solution that keeps baboons out of human-occupied areas, organisations such as the Baboon Matters Trust believe that far more responsibility needs to be placed on residents in terms of sensible baboon proofing options and waste management.

The audio of the paintballing starts 01:45 into the clip below:




13 October 2020 12:40 PM
Tags:
baboons
Baboon management
Paintball guns

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