Community-Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) successfully captured the roaming baboon that was spotted in the North of Johannesburg, relocating it somewhere safe.
Johannesburg, South Africa – On Friday afternoon at about 16:30, my brother walked in and said he had spotted a baboon in the rearview mirror of his car while parking in my complex. My immediate response was, “yeah, right!”. However, he insisted it was real. I told him if this was true, the complex would issue a warning. A few minutes later, a mass warning was issued.
I sat there flabbergasted and kept asking how a baboon was even in a highly developed suburb in the North of Johannesburg? Apparently there is an ancient trail that has been developed over. This trail guides the baboons out towards the northern parts of South Africa.
This poor baboon left his troop for greener pastures. He was on the hunt for a new troop to join. This is done to ensure a good mix of genes in each troop.
Feeling slightly bad I proceeded to follow the news as the baboon was then spotted in Broadacres, Douglasdale and even Bryanston. Constant warnings were issued to the public to avoid the baboon as it was terrified and desperately searching for a safe space.
The baboon’s behaviour is nothing new; the only reason it is now visible is due to loss of natural habitat. It is a sobering thought to realise that your home is situated on a space that was once designated for nature. In fact, it is quite heartbreaking to see the baboon struggle to find its way to a natural environment not crowded by complexes, highways and curious humans.
According to Cora Bailey, the founder of Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW), darting him wasn’t an option. This was because he would most-likely attempt to get to safety in a tree or up a roof before the drug sets in, leaving him to fall from unknown heights into unknown situations.
“A darted baboon will climb on a roof or into a tree before the tranquiliser takes effect, or run into traffic or into a garden with vicious dogs. It would more than likely be a death sentence. Darting can only be done in exceptional circumstances.”
Finally, we have received the good news that the baboon has been caught and will be moved away from the busy suburbs and out into the open spaces.
Cora took to her personal Facebook page last night and posted only the word “Trapped”. She then went on to give details on the rescue.
CLAW had been tracking the baboon and found it to be in the heart of Sandton. After monitoring the baboon, they attempted to trap him, and it was a success. She gave thanks to everyone who helped, especially to the hotel where the baboon was caught. They supplied CLAW with a fruit basket to lure the baboon into the trap.
“He is trapped. Thanks for all the lovely comments. This rescue would not have been possible without lots of special people getting involved. #Wildserve’s Dirk Engelbrecht who did a sterling job of dealing with the media and driving our bakkie (dozens and dozens of calls to answer)
#AnimalAllies Monique Friedland and her dad, Alan, were there before we arrived. They sent for our smaller trap (all the way to Durban Deep), when our large trap was not going to get through any doorways. And were there for anything else that was needed.
#MichelleWatson who was just so practical and helpful and rushed to previous sightings to try and plot where he was going next. She was at the hotel waiting for us when we got there too. The hotel management who were clearly stressed, coped with all the crazy plans with utmost patience and professionalism. #CapitalOnThePark, you were so accommodating, and the buffet for the Baboon trap looked scrumptious. Your hotel is a little bit of heaven amongst all the hustle and bustle that is Sandton
And #DevonWilliams, a Bryanston resident who offered his services and did a fantastic job of keeping us posted from outside the hotel while we were in the lobby on the 9th floor.
What were the chances that this Baboon was going to enter the only vacant room in the hotel?? But he did, and he is safe and sound.
Watching him perched on a balcony railing on the 10th floor, expecting him to fall at any time, will forever be etched in my memory.
Again, apologies to anyone I did not respond to, but eventually my battery just gave up and there was no time to find a charger.”
CLAW relies on donations to remain operational, so if you would like to support them, you can donate to their BackaBuddy fund here which goes towards covering their medicine costs or visit their Facebook page for more info on how to get involved with the organisation.