Young Dispersing Male Baboon from Smitswinkel Bay relocated to Da Gama Troop

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CapeNature, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, and the City of Cape Town met earlier today, 10 December 2021, to discuss possible interventions regarding a young dispersing male baboon from the Smitswinkel Bay troop. SWB12 has left his natal troop about six weeks ago, and is spending most of his time in Simon’s Town and surrounds, displaying raiding behaviour. Unfortunately, attempts to keep SWB12 in his natural environment and out of town where he is exposed to many dangers, have been unsuccessful. As such, a joint decision was made under the leadership of CapeNature, to relocate the baboon to the Da Gama troop as soon as the situation allows. This is in his best interest and provides the best possible outcome at this point in time.

SWB12 will be captured once the situation allows, and released on City-owned land, in the vicinity of the Da Gama troop. The City’s service provider, NCC Environmental Services, will undertake the capturing with the Cape of Good Hope SPCA (CGHSPCA) present.

The joint decision is based on the following factors, among others:

  • Of late, SWB12 is spending most of his time in town, raiding and roosting in the urban environment where he faces many dangers such as dogs, traffic, and hostility from some residents
  • The Da Gama troop currently does not have an Alpha male, meaning SWB12 will have the best possible chance of integration
  • Integration usually happens quicker in the absence of another Alpha male
  • It will be beneficial to the genetics of the Da Gama troop
  • Should SWB12 integrate, he will spend most of his time with his new troop, in the natural environment
  • Relocation provides the best possibility of survival for SWB12

It was further decided that this intervention will be made with minimum interference. Therefore, SWB12 will not be collared or ear-tagged. However, the City’s service provider will be monitoring his movements and attempts at integration with the Da Gama troop.

Follow-up meetings will be convened to discuss SWB12’s reintegration attempts.

CapeNature, the CGHSPCA, and the City are calling on residents, the general public, and stakeholders to please not follow, or interfere with SWB12 in any way as this will seriously hamper his efforts to integrate.

We also want to caution the public that the relocation may not succeed:

  • It is impossible to predict how the process will unfold as baboons are wild animals
  • Every relocation is different, and relies on the individual animal
  • It may take months for SWB12 to integrate
  • He may not integrate at all and display raiding behaviour in his new environment. In such case, one of the outcomes that may need to be considered as a last resort, is euthanasia.


Photo Credit: Daily Maverick

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