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Monkeys & Baboons in Camps/picnic Sites etc.

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francoisd
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Monkeys & Baboons in Camps/picnic Sites etc.

Unread postby francoisd » Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:25 am

arks wrote:Again, informing visitors about feeding animals AND about the dangers of animals, such as the Cape Point baboons, that have been fed by visitors, is key to overcoming this problem. I know that there are signs, but visitors often don't see them, hence the bewilderment.

These signs were fixed next to the entrance door of every chalet of a reserve we recently visited (some chalets have a front and back door so then there is one at each door). It was also posted on other place around camp even at the entrance to the public toilets. One toilet even had a poster of a dead monkey (sketch not a photo) stating that this is what happens to animals that become a nuisance or danger when they are fed by humans, it was in the format of a little cartoon with sketches that could even be understood without the writing at the bottom.
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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:21 pm

Imberbe wrote:
Jay wrote:This is very much a suggestion, but if ,for example fruit trees were planted along the peremeters of camps and picnic spots, perhaps it would help. I am only suggesting this as farmers on the Piketberg mountains and my grandfather, when he was park manager for Sabie Park many years ago, used to place large amounts of unwanted fruit far from inhabited areas and it worked really well.
The thing is, you will never rid the park of problem baboons, they are awsomely clever and resort to all sorts of tactics, even stoning cars, to get what they want! And it's unfortunately too late now, they've learnt humans mean easy food....


By planting fruit trees, or providing fruit to the animals in a National Park, you will be changing the natural system. This will only serve to worsen the existing problem and can create a lot of extra problems you may not even have envisioned! (The borehole situation in the KNP is a pertinent example.)

The solution is not to create a further disturbance, but to try and minimize the current! You are quite right that there will always be "problem" baboons. :cry: But by minimizing the human impact, you will minimize the problem. The baboons are only reacting to the opportunities humans are providing. That is their caracter.


The idea is to plant sterile fruit, such as satsumas, and to be honest, the natural ecosystem is hardly natural when we are shooting baboons that are pests! I don't think even using a kettie is "natural" at all.
The biggest problem to "unteach" baboons especially will require the complete removal of human contact, which is hardly likely. Obviously human education is first and foremost, but I do think some innovative thinking is required too :)

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Unread postby Imberbe » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:05 pm

Even "sterile" fruit can cause problems!
Firstly it wil disturb the natural vegetation by displacing it, secondly it can attract other animals and change their habits.
I also do not know of any fruit tree that bears fruit throughout the year.

To keep monkeys/baboons away you will have to have a considerable orchard!
They are known to raid orchards and waste a lot of fruit!
The vast area of land that will be destroyd to keep a single troup of baboons (hopefully ????) out of a picnic site, is to high a price to pay!
How many indigenous plants and animals wil be destroyd or displaced?

The more we interfere in nature, the more problems we cause.
That is one thing we have(hopefully?) learnt the hard way many times over!
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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:08 pm

This is for those who don't get the WEG magazine. Gosh this is hilarious. :lol: Thanx to the lady from Patensie in the Eastern Cape for the story. Herewith a very rough translation:


The mag had 101 Camping Hints in the 13th edition. She would just like to warn everyone against #62 on how to scare away baboons at your campsite as it worked way too well in the Baviaanskloof.

The idea is to place a rubber snake within sight which they did as baboons are notoriously scared of snakes. Well, these guys decided they were hungry enough to brave the snake and decided to stone it. After assuming the snake was "dead" enough they raided the tent anyway.

That's where the problem started - the 4X4 parked close by had to be taken to the panelbeaters on their return!
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Unread postby bucky » Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:14 am

The park has to take a tough line on this .

The animals will always find easier ways to get food , so they will have to take action against the offendors , namely to shoot these animals .

Then , the problem of people feeding the animals has , and I fear will always be an issue .
Simple solution - employ about 3 people for north/central/middle of the park to patrol picnic sites/camps , and hand out spot fines to people doing this , and at the sime time they get a black mark logged on there wildcard I.D.

The other way will be to fence picnic spots against the intruders , but this will take a lot of charm away from them .

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:04 am

Elsa wrote:Certainly becoming more and more of a big problem and a solution must be sought, other than just shooting them. :?


Maybe there is truth to this old Afrikaans folk song...

As ek moeg word vir die lewe in die stad
Vat ek die hasepad
In die veld pluk ek 'n wilgerlat
En slaan die apie op sy gat
En sing my wandel lied
En sing my wandel lied!


Can someone go try it out? :twisted:
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Unread postby cougar » Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:35 am

Thanks for the encouragement, arks :D

I googled "bear-proof " to see if I can find any pictures of what I'm talking about. I found one site that has pictures of what I've seen: http://www.bearproofinc.com/index.php?p=3 (I'm not endorsing this particular company, just displaying an example--hope that's OK). Some of these containers are overkill for keeping smaller animals out, but you get the idea.

You're right about the unique designs with the huts and bungalows. That's what I really liked about Kruger--it was fun to just cook outside, sit in comfort, have a beer/Amarula/wine, and relax. But, it does make it interesting to keep the baboons out! That was a challenge I've never had to think of!

A question for the South Africans: are there "campground hosts" at the campsites? At many campgrounds in the U.S., there is one or more of these hosts. They are usually retired individuals who volunteer to stay at the same campground for most of a season and are basically the authority while there. They are essentially deputized by the rangers to enforce many of the rules of the campground, like noise violations, campfire issues, food storage, etc. I don't think they're paid to do this--they just get the camping spot for free. It was the campground hosts who were doing all of the food patrols and writing tickets for fines when I visited one of the parks in July.

Perhaps this might be a way to minimize the labor needs for the rest camp issues (if it isn't being done already). Just a thought.

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Unread postby francoisd » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:27 am

cougar wrote:Now there are "bear-proof" Dumpsters (no small bins with completely removable lids ANYWHERE), and almost no begging animals (bears or otherwise).

Some parks do have dustbins with lids that cannot be completely removed. Also saw some of these bins at Mountain Zebra National Park. What amused me at that time was seeing the leader of the vervet monkey troop sitting on a dustbin, urine marking the handle and walking off. Not long afterwards people will come and lift the lid to deposit garbage looking at their hands thinking "Why is this thing wet" :shock:

Here is one of these dustbins, also standing in a metal ring (visible at the bottom of the picture) welded to a pole to prevent the monkeys from over turning the dustbin. Simple yet effective although it does not help with the monkeys raiding tents and even entering caravans if the doors are left open.

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Unread postby William » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:19 pm

Dear Forum members

We sincerely appreciate all the inputs that came from all the forum members with regard to the problem animals.
We are also aware as Management of all the havoc that the baboons cause especially at Nkuhlu Picnic Spot and a lot has been done already to try and deal with this problem.
Unfortunately these baboons and monkeys tend to learn tricks very fast.
We have in the past destroyed some of the animals in order to scare them away and we also had put some rangers to try and drive these animals away every time they come to the picnic spot.
Believe it or not the moment they see the green uniform of the rangers they don't come any where near.

This problem will definitely not be solved by Management alone, it has to be an integrated approach.
Tourists much definitely stop feeding these animals and we will from our side put up signs which will sensitise tourists with regard to feeding of animals and the dangers thereof.
We will also try to get baboon-proof dustbins installed at the picnic spots.

The staff at the picnic spot are not trained rangers and would not know how to deal with animals and that is why at times they sit and wonder what to do when the baboons begin the raid and harass people.

May I also take this opportunity to thank all of you for highlighting this problem once more, and promise that we will try to put all efforts possible to try and deal with the problem.
However, we still have an obligation to continue to be seen to be conserving the biodiversity rather than being destructive.

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Re: Monkeys and baboons at picnic sites

Unread postby rayb » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:26 am

Frank at Pafuri has a similar trick :)

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He only fires dirt but it is enough. In fact, as soon as they see him they leg it.
The smaller the monkey the more it looks like it would kill you at the first given opportunity

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Re: Scavanging Baboons

Unread postby Die Groot Krokodil » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:15 pm

During my visit to LS end April we too had problems with the baboon in camp - they'd had come in and trashed the kitchen areas of numerous safari tents... Even after chasing them off (they just jumped of the roof of tent no.16 over the fence) they sat in the nearest tree watching and waiting for an opportunity to come back in...

Next morning we saw them again just outside camp and they were hitching rides on cars.

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Re: Scavanging Baboons

Unread postby Imberbe » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:00 pm

Baboons and monkeys are extremely intelligent and opportunistic. They will take any and each opportunity, and create a few that weren't there. This is a constant problem for everyone in nature based tourism.

SANParks has gone to great lengths to manage this problem. Some examples would be the so called "monkey proof" dustbins, discouraging tourists to feed these animals, and the management of dump sites.

But frankly this problem will never disappear. It is simply impossible to make it go away, and often impractical in the everyday run of a camp, to exclude all possibilities.
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Re: Scavanging Baboons

Unread postby wacktazz » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:56 am

At nkuhlu I chase lots of people away on a weekly basis for feeding the animals.
I have a policy of talk once, second time you go.
My staff including myself has been verbally abused by lots of people in the past when we try to "educate" them on reading their entrance permits, as well as the signs around the park that says do not feed the animals.
December last year I have taken away 5 of my eight dustbins, which are all animal proof.
Never had a problem with baboons yet. They will walk around on the perimeter, but wont come closer.
Sad truth is that we also had to shoot and kill a few baboons before they got the message.
All because humans think its cute to feed them and take a picture doing so.
Now Im still battling with vervets, and just as we are seemingly winning the battle, an idiot comes and feeds them. The whole circle starts all over again.
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Re: Scavanging Baboons

Unread postby Jeanus » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:12 pm

Here in my part of the world the dustbins are almot human proof in our attempt to baboon proof them. Each is in a cadge with the hinged top of the bin attached on a chain to the heavy lid of the cadge - you need two hands to open the bin and keep it open and unlocked. The lid is permanently locked with one of those door latches (not the slide type but the propper door type) where the moment the top closes the latch locks too. This requires that the latch lock be held open whilst the heavy lid is lifted. So far this is all that seems to be working.
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