Skip to content

Roaming male baboon released near Lewis Gay Dam

The City of Cape Town can confirm that a young male dispersing baboon from the Tokai troop was released near the Lewis Gay Dam on City-owned land earlier today, 15 February 2021.

The male baboon from the Tokai troop has been roaming the urban area and crossing the very busy M3 road on occasions over the past two weeks.

He was captured and returned to his natal Tokai troop on 6 February and 11 February 2021 respectively. However, he returned to the urban area on Saturday, 13 February 2021, and crossed the M3 again on Sunday, 14 February 2021.

In consultation with CapeNature and SANParks over the weekend, it was decided to capture and release the baboon in the South, where he will have the opportunity of joining either the Da Gama or Slangkop troops, or any of the other troops further south. The SPCA was also contacted.

Attempts to capture the baboon on Sunday were unsuccessful. NCC Environmental Services, who is contracted to manage the City’s Urban Baboon Programme, conducted the operation and the SPCA was also present.

The baboon was finally darted in Tokai this morning, 15 February 2021, and released near the Lewis Gay Dam on City-owned land. This move is in terms of the dispersing guidelines and supported by the best available scientific practice.

Baboon rangers will keep on monitoring the baboon as relocated baboons do not always integrate. The City further urges residents to please not follow this baboon and to allow him space so that he has the best chance of integrating.  

The urban area with its busy roads, domestic animals, people and unhealthy food, is dangerous for baboons. It is in the interest of the safety of baboons and the public that baboons remain wild and in their natural habitat.

The growth in the baboon population, a decline in natural foraging areas, and competition within troops for male dominance, among others, often lead to fragmenting troops and dispersing males. This is the case all over the world, and is of concern when baboons move through urban areas.

The City kindly requests residents from neighbourhoods adjacent to mountainous areas to please store wheelie bins in a safe space; to enclose vegetable gardens and composting areas; and to not leave food out for pets to discourage opportunistic foraging.

Residents can phone the Baboon Hotline number 071 588 6540 for assistance.