Devastating wildfires have raged since Sunday in Cape Town’s southern peninsula razing over 4000 hectares of veld. Thirteen homes have been destroyed and many people have been left traumatised and displaced as hundreds of homes in Noordhoek, Tokai, Hout Bay and Constantia have been evacuated. Residents say that these fires are worse than the fires of 2000. Along with this destruction are the deaths of many of the the wild creatures who lived alongside those suburbs on the mountains. The following link shows the footage of the huge swathes of land that have been damaged – http://www.news24.com/Live/SouthAfrica/News/WATCH-Amazing-drone-footage-shows-huge-Cape-fire-damage-20150303 Our hearts go out to the people affected by the fires and also to the displaced wild animals. Organisations such as the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Unit, and Four Paws are working together with SanParks Table Mountain National Park personnel in assessing the conditions. They have, however made a strong appeal to members of the public not to venture onto the mountainside in search of displaced animals. This poor tortoise attempted to hide behind a rock before being caught in the fire. (Image courtesy of @bramvermeul on Twitter) ~ Photo credit: Anton Crone @Antoncrone ” Tortoise frozen by the blaze at Silvermine.” Meanwhile any cash donations received will still contribute towards specialist medical supplies, fuel and other unforeseen costs, these can be made here: http://www.spca-ct.co.za/start.asp
Of great concern is the welfare of the baboon troops and how they have fared through the whole ordeal. It’s distressing to learn of the deaths and injuries to the baboons of the Tokai troop. Reports released on Thursday by the Baboon Technical Team indicate that :- ” The BTT confirm the following situation in the Tokai Troop @ Thursday March 5 @ 17h00: * Three critically injured baboons euthanased. * Four dead baboons found as charred carcasses. * Seven injured baboons continue to be assessed. The BTT team, veterninarians and animal welfare professionals left the site in the Tokai Forest on account of poor visibility and smoky conditions at 17h30. The team will resume their work at 6am on Friday morning, March 6. We would like to thank the BTT members, baboon rangers, animal welfare professionals and veterinarians for their dedication and professionalism during this distressing time. ” While conservationists remind us that fire is necessary for the regeneration of the fynbos species, we’re conscious of the loss of the many small wild creatures who didn’t survive the burning inferno.