Memoirs of Life in South Africa

English 162: Literature and Place (A Queens College Study Abroad Course)

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Blog 12-Baboon Problem

January 28th, 2012 by Talisa Feliciano · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

One of the most recent things I have learned in Cape Town is the problem between humans and baboons.  I never knew that baboon raids were a problem in Cape Town.  For some reason I had assumed that baboons, like birds, dogs, rats, and cats may be some nuisance to humans but that humans learned to live somewhat harmoniously with them.  As the other students explained the specifics of the situation to me, I realized that particular communities of humans have problems with baboons, not all.  Still it baffles me how baboons are constructed as a major “problem” especially when there are many solutions.  I compared what I learned with my brief but informative meeting with baboons on the side of the road when we went on the tour of Cape Point and Boulder’s Beach.  The video below does not show ravenous baboons attacking babies and ripping through the defenseless homes of humans in search of food.  Rather they seem calm, if not shy, as the cars that pass by.  For most of the video they lounge carefree, grooming each other, breastfeeding, or playing.  Although the video is of one isolated instance, it seems that humans are a major cause of the creation of the baboon “problem.”

Baboons on the Road

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One Comment so far ↓

  • mikestrianese

    I too was never aware of the baboon problem prevalent in South Africa until very late in my trip. I agree with your observations of the baboons we saw sitting on the road while on our Cape Point tour, but I’ve seen videos of baboons ripping backpacks off of people and tossing all their stuff out in search of food. I think the whole concept of euthanasia is beyond sick, disgusting, and foolish. In my opinion the only solution is knowledge and pro activeness on the humans part. Electric fences may work and may seem more humane than euthanasia, which they are, but not by much. First off, who would like to live in an electrocution bordered box? And putting electric fences everywhere is not the golden solution in animal control. It would be interesting to note the behavioral differences in other animals in areas fenced in with electrical fences. I’m no scientist but I’m sure it has some effect on every living thing in an area.

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