'Scarface baboon given reprieve by mayor, but authorities killed him anyway'
- Scarface the baboon from the Betty's Bay troop was killed by authorities on Saturday despite the Overstand mayor agreeing to change the order from 'catch and kill' to catch and release'
- A sanctuary had agreed to take Scarface in but the authorities reportedly said the relocation logistics would take too long
- Baboon advocates are asking for a workshop long promised by Western Cape Environmental Minister Anton Bredell to relook a the baboon management protocols so that all parties can come together and find solutions
On Saturday 18 September animal advocacy groups attempted to intervene and have Scarface relocated to a sanctuary. However, HWS reportedly stated it would take too long to obtain a relocation permit. Scarface was captured and killed.
After receiving pleas from the public, Cape Town animal rights advocate Toni Brockhaven made contact with the mayor of the Overstrand Municipality. She explained that a sanctuary in Limpopo was willing to take Scarface and asked that the 'catch and kill' order be changed.
The mayor agreed and the order was changed to 'catch and relocate'.
However, something appears to have been bungled regarding communication, and Scarface was captured and driven off escorted by police vehicles and killed.
Zoologist, Conservationist, and Founder of Betty's Bay Baboon Action Group Pete Oxford related what had taken place.
Oxford says the majority of residents in the Betty's Bay community have chosen to live in the Koggelberg Nature reserve because they wish to live in harmony with nature. he says they have baboon-proofed homes and bins.
It is a few that are what he describes as intolerants who threatened the municipality with legal action unless the baboon was killed.
Scarface had entered houses in the area but until there are equitable laws in place to enforce this human behaviour, the question remains. Why are the baboons being punished for human behaviour?
Environmental Minister in the Western Cape Anton Bredell has promised baboon advocacy groups a workshop to relook at the baboon management protocols. My plea is please can we have the workshop and parties come together and try and find each other.Barbara Friedman, Barbs Wire presenter - CapeTalk
Unless there are laws and by-laws in place to make human beings living on the urban edge baboon-proof their homes and waste, why are you executing the baboons? Why are you punishing the baboons and giving them a rap sheet?Barbara Friedman, Barbs Wire presenter - CapeTalk
What we have got is HWS came into our area with a pretty bad track record and highly contentious baggage.Pete Oxford, Zoologist, Conservationist and Founder of Betty's Bay Baboon Action Group
He claims HWS formed alliances with those in the community who are intolerant of baboons in the area.
Those same people have pressured the municipality through legal channels, to bow to legal pressure and so the municipality is rewarding this sense of intolerance.Pete Oxford, Zoologist, Conservationist and Founder of Betty's Bay Baboon Action Group
He believes the vast majority of residents are tolerant of the wildlife in the area in which they live.
They have gone to the expense of baboon-proofing their lifestyle - their waste, their houses - but not a single one of our proposals has been actioned, but those that want the baboons killed have been rewarded.Pete Oxford, Zoologist, Conservationist and Founder of Betty's Bay Baboon Action Group
He says those on the ground did know the order to kill Scarface had been rescinded.
The mayor granted the order to be changed but he ended up being killed anyway.Pete Oxford, Zoologist, Conservationist and Founder of Betty's Bay Baboon Action Group
It was known on the ground before Scarface even walked into that cage. What should have happened there and then, they should have said we have an order to capture and relocate instead of capture and kill, they should have said abort the capture, we will do it in a week's time when the logistics are in place.Pete Oxford, Zoologist, Conservationist and Founder of Betty's Bay Baboon Action Group
Source : Pete Oxford, permission to use granted