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Bolo of Waterfall Troop, another baboon killed by City of Cape Town

21 July 2021 2:29 PM
Tags:
NCC
CoCT
Baboon management protocols
Cape Peninsula baboons
Cape chacma baboons
Bolo the baboon
Waterfall troop

CoCT and CapeNature released a statement on Tuesday with the reasons for killing Simon's Town baboon according to BTT protocols.
Bolo of the Waterfall troop- Image by Luana Pasanisi

The City of Cape Town (CoCT) and CapeNature are responsible for killing Bolo, an alpha male of the Waterfall Troop who lived in Admiral's Kloof above Simon's Town. The City of Cape Town released its statement on Tuesday confirming this.

But baboon lobbyists are questioning the events that lead up to this killing, and are insistent that the City, its service provider NCC, and CapeNature provide answers and evidence for the decision.

Jenni Trethowan, the founder of Baboon Matters Trust noted on the NPO's Facebook page on Tuesday, that Bolo had received 'a mysterious injury' to his right eye on Friday 9 July, some ten days ago.

On that Friday, when the injury was observed, NCC Wildlife Services, who holds the baboon management contract with the City, guided the seemingly blind baboon into a cage in the Simon's Town dockyard and took him away in their van stating that he was unable to see.

Bolo was then taken to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA for assessment.

Under the compassionate care of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, Bolo was examined and an external vet was brought in to provide further advice. While the vets agreed his left eye had become permanently damaged over a number of years, his right eye was treated and after a clinical examination on Monday announced Bolo was fit to be returned to his natal troop.

RELATED: Bolo is fit for medical release

But this was not to be.

Information filtered through to baboon advocates that CoCT and CapeNature had decided, after allowing Bolo to remain at the CGHSPCA for nearly 10 days to receive treatment, that he was to be killed anyway.

So, despite having recovered his eyesight, why was Bolo killed? In terms of the contentious BTTG3 protocols, Bolo was deemed to be a problem. But what about the ongoing problematic waste at the Navy and business areas of Simon's Town? Why are there still no appropriate baboon-proof bins Ms Nieuwoudt?

Jenni Trethowan, Founder and activist - Baboon Matters

He was given every chance to recover - and he did recover.....and THEN they killed him. Think about it - he recovered and THEN they killed him.....No words.

Jenni Trethowan, Founder and activist - Baboon Matters

The CGHSPCA has stated that it did not make the decision to kill Bolo.

But the City of Cape Town has a very different view and argues they following their strict baboon protocols.

The City of Cape Town's Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment Marian Niewoudt makes it clear in her statement that she disagrees. She describes at length Bolo's injuries, his age, his physical health and his 'raiding' behaviour in Simons Town.

The City of Cape Town released the following statement:

CITY OF CAPE TOWN 20 JULY 2021 JOINT STATEMENT BY ALDERMAN MARIAN NIEUWOUDT, CITY OF CAPE TOWN MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR SPATIAL PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT AND DR ERNST BAARD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: CONSERVATION OPERATIONS, CAPENATURE

Aged baboon put down following strict protocols

On 9 July 2021, the baboon WF7 (Bolo, a 14+ year-old male from the Waterfall Troop) was examined by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA (CoGHSPCA) at their premises for injuries sustained. He presented with a long and deep laceration on his left upper thigh, damage to the right eye and upon examination, severe cataracts to the left eye leaving him with impaired vision. He appeared very thin and obviously hungry, and X-rays of the skull, thorax and abdomen showed four pellet gun pellets distributed across the body. There was also bruising of the skin on the right side of the body. The attending veterinarian concluded that trauma seemed to be caused by falling or during an altercation with another male baboon. Following five days of recovery and upon request, CapeNature granted five more days for recovery. On Monday, 19 July 2021, WF7 was re-examined and recommended for release by the CoGHSPCA. Having taken all the relevant information into consideration, both from an individual welfare and baboon conservation perspective, it was CapeNature’s opinion that, on the balance of probabilities, WF7 should not be released. To release the animal would not be in his or the troop’s best interests and would most likely result in future troop destabilisation and potential welfare compromises. Backed up by a comprehensive body of evidence, CapeNature subsequently issued an instruction to the City and its service provider on 19 July 2021 in terms of the Nature Conservation Ordinance No 19 of 1974 to euthanase WF7. This was actioned on 20 July 2021.

During the course of the 10 day recovery period when WF7 was with the CoGHSPCA, the City of Cape Town and its service provider, brought to the attention of CapeNature the fact that, since May 2021, the baboon has been identified and evaluated as follows:

• He is estimated to be around 14 years of age; • He was previously the former alpha male of the troop and has offspring. However, his genetic contribution is in fact detrimental to the troop as he was a natal male in this troop; • In his absence, his splinter group of baboons has returned to the main troop making it much easier to keep the troop out of the urban space , resulting in lower risk and improved wellbeing and welfare for the troop. Apart from the troop’s wellbeing, his behaviour was also closely monitored and the following incidents were reported: • He raided dozens of occupied houses; • He charged and challenged service provider staff on numerous occasions; From a welfare perspective, WF7was also missing most of his incisors and one lower canine and is showing signs of senescence including weight loss, loss of muscle mass and a dull hair coat. Irrespective of a full recovery from the condition in his right eye, he would have remained visually impaired, if not fully blind in the left eye due to advanced cataracts.

City of Cape Town has the necessary authorisation in the form of a permit issued by CapeNature to the service provider subject to special conditions under the auspices of the Nature Conservation Ordinance. This authorisation allows City and the service provider to undertake restricted activities, such as and including using aversion techniques, capture and relocation, and euthanasia. With this permit, the City and the service provider do not have to consult CapeNature every time that a restricted activity needs to be undertaken.

The City in its press release of 24 June 2021 noted that while the broader governance issues of roles and responsibilities are being addressed, the City will not take a decision on any specific baboon or baboon troop as well as relocations or euthanasia in particular. In these cases, and in all other matters that may arise, we will be guided by CapeNature as the decision-making authority on interventions required.

End

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 5154 or Cell: 084 224 0023, Email: marian.nieuwoudt@capetown.gov.za (please always copy media.account




21 July 2021 2:29 PM
Tags:
NCC
CoCT
Baboon management protocols
Cape Peninsula baboons
Cape chacma baboons
Bolo the baboon
Waterfall troop

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