Kataza is a baboon of the Cape Peninsula who has been removed from his troop by authoritiest hostile territory. We call for Kataza’s returned to his home troop and his baby.
We also call for a review of the cruel and ineffective baboon management system. Have you seen Kataza? His life is in danger. Please share, let us know if you do see him, take photos, or video, and please read on for how else you can support. Kataza is something increasingly unusual, an adult male baboon of the Cape Peninsula. This is the only group of coastal foraging baboons in the world. His troop moves between Slangkop, Ocean View, and Kommetjie an area of the Table Mountain National Park increasingly fraught with development. Primates on the creeping urban fringe conflict with humans the world over.
This is tragic as there is no ways the primates can win. Whereas baboons are peaceful creatures, primates are misunderstood and deemed aggressive by those who fear our wilder relatives. Despite being forced inhabit a created “Landscape of Fear”, the official term used by authorities for the management strategy they employ, baboons only ever show aggression when cornered and feeling threatened, as any animal would do, and they always signal warning in sound and body language. The baboons of the Cape Peninsula are the only animals in the world who are by law herded with continual explosions and gunshot from sunrise to sunset 7 days a week; this strategy of compounding stress and trauma, despite its negative impact on other living creatures including other wild life, domestic animals and human beings, is fully approved by the City of Cape Town.
Further to that a policy is taken whereby adult males’ baboons, the natural leader of the troop, are seen to be necessary to eliminate in order to control the troop. This strategy does not work as the root causes are not resolved. An application had been put in for Kataza to be killed, which happens inevitably with adult males at a relatively young age. His “rap sheet”, that is number of times he had made use of opportunistic foraging from unsecured rubbish bins, was deemed not yet sufficient to justify his death. After that Kataza disappeared. He just disappeared.
His troop and especially his new babies he had fathered and with whom he was so clearly very loving left abandoned. Authorities would not give clear answers on his whereabouts. Within a few days an adult baboon fitting Kataza’s description, although now sporting a white tag as well as the tracking collar, has been seen alone in the Tokai area. We believe Kataza was kidnapped and removed from his home troop and territory to this foreign terrority where the existing troops exist in a very high level of difficulty with human beings, where permits exist to shoot baboons and where there is talk of an outright plan to cull baboons. Whilst authorities could not get permission to kill Kataza where he was living, it seems they moved him to a situation where his human conflict could only escalate, and his killing will be inevitable.
We have since ascertained that the lone baboon we are seeing in the Tokai area is Kataza, he does not have any idea of the terrain, its dangers or where to find food and water. He is highly stressed, scared and exhausted an utterly not knowing where to find safe refuge. Because he is alone and vulnerable, and in this weather cold and wet without his troop to huddle for warmth, he is more likely to have to approach urban sources for easy foraging, if you see him in this way, please have patience with him. It would be helpful if you could let us know and send pics or videos if possible. We have good reason to believe his life is in critical danger.