Baboons; Out of the Wild and into the Backyard
Lorna Thomas, a writer for GoNOMAD.com, addresses the well-being of South African baboons, whose land is being taken away from them due to urban development, in her article Working to Save South Africa’s Chacma Baboons.
“Baboons lived in Cape Town’s surrounding hills and plains long before their human neighbours took up residence. Conflict escalated as urban development encroached on baboon habitat bringing them into ever closer contact with man.
Briefly, problems arise when baboons seek human food, in the process causing destruction to property.
A number of signs around the scenic Peninsula warn tourists not to feed baboons. The signs are there for a reason. It may be appealing to watch the animals eat food thrown to them, but long after tourists go home, residents – and baboons – pay the price for baboons being fed by humans. Baboons pay with life and limb.
Rather than being considered a nuisance and persecuted, the baboons with their intelligence, exuberance, mobility, structured social life with an emphasis on protecting their young should be enjoyed by the community and by tourists.”