Landé Willemse
2 minute read
28 Oct 2019
12:11 pm

Kruger Park visitor causes uproar after discovering caged baboons

Landé Willemse

Social media was set ablaze following the trapping and removal of a troop of baboons from a camp in the park earlier this week.

After Karien Eigner wrote that while she was staying at the Tamboti tented camp in the Kruger National Park, she heard distressed calls just outside the kitchen, reports Lowvelder.

She discovered upon investigation that, “there is a young mother baboon and her newborn trapped inside,” and posted a photo of the trapped animals with her post.

The camp staff allegedly told her the baboons were trapped to be eliminated.

This sparked a barrage of emotional pro- and anti-trapping comments on SANParks’ Facebook page.

Some people were furious that the baboons were to be killed.

Yet the SANParks admin of the page denied that the animals were to be killed, but simply removed, as they had become a nuisance in the camp.

“Tourists pay conservation fees to enable the organisation to carry out its mandate and it is important to ensure their safety. The cages are used to enable the rangers to deal with what we call damage-causing animals.”

Ike Phaahla, general manager of communications for the park, confirmed that the park often has to take drastic measures when animals become a danger to visitors.

“People feed animals and that habituates them and then they lose their fear of humans. In the Tamboti case, the baboons sleep inside the camp and that attracts predators, like leopards, which places lives at risk.”

Phaahla explained that section rangers were required to trap and remove offending animals humanely and that was what they had been doing.

“We have a few people making noise who have not been confronted by a fully grown baboon or had their tent and food destroyed. We have experts. Let us allow them to do their work.”

SANParks confirmed that the baboons were not shot, but released in a different part of the park.

“The baboons were relocated. The section ranger spoke and explained the situation to the guest. We have compiled a report that included protocols on how we deal with these situations to the NSPCA. We have nothing to hide and have always presented facts as they are.”

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