Groot Constantia's famous spagbowl baboon 'alive and well' - despite claims to the contrary

2019-09-16 13:59
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*UPDATE: 

In a statement sent to Traveller24 the Groot Constantia establishment confirmed that "no baboon has been shot. 

"Dear concerned public

"There was much coverage in the press and on social media recently regarding the baboon who visited Groot Constantia for a quick meal at Jonkershuis.We have now read with concern the reports that this baboon has been shot.  We wish to speedily rectify this false fact.

"Groot Constantia do not use lethal measure to control baboons and work closely with the relevant City of Cape Town authorities to ensure we manage baboon/human interactions in such a manner that the baboons are not harmed.

"There are conservation measures in place to protect baboons and protocols set out by the City that must be followed to minimise conflict with these clever animals, and we follow all of these measures at Groot Constantia.It is essential to honour the natural habitats and environment in which we operate!

"Yours Sincerely

Groot Constantia Management"

***

Cape Town's most polite baboon, who recently went viral after gatecrashing Jonkerhuis restaurant at Groot Constantia (see the video above), has mistakenly been reported as dead. Turns out, it is very much alive according to a report.

The Chacma Baboon who stopped in for lunch recently, causing guests to look on in bewilderment,was part of a central animal welfare topic of discussion at the Cape Town Animal Conference over the weekend. Cape Town Etc reported that "Baboon Matters Trust said the baboon from the recent viral video was euthanised by the Human Wildlife Solutions ".

“He’s been killed for being an aggressive baboon because he had the audacity to walk into a human space. Now we only have four remaining baboons in Scarborough of an original troupe of 18 and the death penalty is on them. We have until the end of the month to come up with a solution.”

Turns out the claim by Baboon Matters was falsely made, with Human Wildlife Solutions confirming in the report that the baboon was seen  "alive and well" on Monday morning. Baboon Matters has been driving baboon conservation, in what it describes as the "face of ever-increasing urbanization and intensive agriculture, and the resulting escalation in baboon/human conflict"

See the discussion here: 

However, it still doesn't seem that clear-cut as Baboon Matters just sent the following statement to Traveller24 and posted it on its Facebook page, calling into question these claims that the baboon is, in fact, alive:  

READ: Groot Constantia: Championing winelands conservation for over three centuries 

While the baboon seems very relaxed in the video above, they do remain quite dangerous. Groot Constantia's CEO Jean Naudé reiterated in a previous comment that the estate takes extensive non-lethal measure to keep them at bay.

"Despite intensive efforts to keep baboons out of the public areas at Groot Constantia, this baboon decided that the food at Jonkershuis is so good he was willing to brave the specially erected baboon fencing and baboon deterrent measures to get a taste!" says Naudé.

"We take every possible measure to keep baboons out of Groot Constantia and spent over R1 million on fencing, plus we employ baboon spotters whose job it is to drive the baboons away. However, on occasion, it does happen that one of these clever animals finds their way around our set up. We can't blame them - a visit to Groot Constantia is always a treat!

"However, thankfully it is a rare occurrence to see these guys dining at one of our restaurants."

*Compiled by Selene Brophy

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