The Smitswinkel Troop Comes Visiting

On a wet, wintery Sunday morning last month we were roused by our neighbour’s loud shouts and to the call of baboons on the roof.  It’s been a while, five years in fact since the Smitswinkel troop last came into the suburb on a raiding incursion.  That’s quite a record.  It was June 2009 when a group of concerned residents with the aid of the civic association set forth to find solutions in reducing the human/baboon conflict impacting Simon’s Town.    I knew little about baboon behaviour then, but through observation and being involved in both sides of the story, I’ve learned that the complexities of the issues will always be fraught with controversy.  It’s interesting to note that the baboons are given protected status on the Peninsula, yet there are no enforced restrictions or bye-laws against irresponsible waste management, nor management of food in recreational areas which inherently attract baboons.